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YOUTH-LED SPACES FOR BUILDING COLLECTIVE POWER

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CONTENTS A NETWORK FOR YOUTH-LED ACTIVISM PAGE 3 VISION AND STRATEGIC GOALS PAGE 4 OUR APPROACH TO LEARNING AND ACTIVISM PAGE 5 HOW WE SUPPORT: - SPACES FOR PARTICIPATORY AND ACTION-ORIENTED LEARNING PAGE 6 - SPACES FOR CREATIVE ACTIVISM AND ORGANISING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE PAGE 8 - SPACES FOR CONNECTING PEOPLE, ORGANISATIONS AND MOVEMENTS

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LET’S WORK TOGETHER PAGE 12

Global Platforms was initiated by ActionAid in 2009. Working in 45 countries worldwide, ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to achieve greater human rights for all and defeat poverty. GLOBALPLATFORMS.ORG

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A NETWORK FOR YOUTH-LED ACTIVISM We live in a world where more than 40% of the world’s population are under 25 years and almost nine out of ten young people live in developing countries. Despite this, young people are often denied positions of power and responsibility. Young people under 30 years make up just over 2% of the world’s parliamentarians, and less than half of them are women. Younger generations are faced with rising global inequality, high unemployment rates, poor access to public services and in many countries a shrinking space for political involvement and influence.

All over the world we support youth-led spaces for building collective power:

But there is another, much more exciting story to tell. Around the world we see evidence of young people being prepared and organised to respond to the big challenges the world throws at them. Inspiring examples of young people and youth-led movements creatively working within and outside the system to challenge the political status quo.

The support we offer and local setup vary depending on the specific needs and context. A Global Platform can either be a space for capacity development where young people live and learn together or a Youth Hub for creative activism and organising where all activities are led and planned entirely by young people. Moreover, we facilitate shared learning, collective action and convenings between the various initiatives, partners and allies.

Global Platforms is ActionAid’s network for youthled activism. Our mission is to support young people, organisations and movements fighting for social justice.

Spaces for participatory and action-oriented learning. Spaces for creative activism and organising for social justice. Spaces for connecting people, organisations and movements.

Currently we have Global Platforms in Africa, Asia, Latin America, MENA and Europe.

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VISION AND STRATEGIC GOALS

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GOAL 1

GOAL 2

COLLECTIVE ACTION

SUPPORTING THE FRONTLINE

A world where young activists have access to spaces for organising collective action and are supported by relevant and inspiring capacity development.

A world where frontline activists and social movements can continue their struggle supported by capacity development, coaching and security through adaptive global programmes.

GOAL 3

GOAL 4

RETHINKING ACTIVISM

LINKING STRUGGLESÂ

A world where young activists are supported with resources, tools and inspiration to test new and innovative ideas for creatively confronting pressing social and political challenges.

A world where young activists are connected through communities for linking similar struggles, planning of solidarity acts and learning for collective strategising.


OUR APPROACH TO LEARNING AND ACTIVISM We aim to be a catalyst for youth-led activism by inspiring people to organise and act on social injustice and by connecting people, organisations and movements all over the world.

CONNECT

ACT

INSPIRE

WE INSPIRE AND ENGAGE PEOPLE

WE SUPPORT PEOPLE TO ACT ON

WE CONNECT PEOPLE,

THROUGH PARTICIPATORY AND

SOCIAL INJUSTICE THROUGH

ORGANISATIONS AND MOVEMENTS

ACTION-ORIENTED LEARNING

ORGANISING AND CREATIVE ACTIVISM

ACROSS BORDERS

Our pedagogical approach to capacity development, learning and activism is primarily based on our participatory and action-oriented learning principles: 1. PARTICIPATORY METHODS - Learn together 2. POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT - Analyse and change power structures 3. LEARNING BY DOING - Act, reflect, learn, apply 4. PUBLIC ACTION LEARNING - Use society as a classroom 5. FEMINIST LENS - Challenge patriarchy and inequality 6. DREAMING BIG - Be creative, seek alternatives

A key concept in this approach is to enable the young people we work with to analyse unequal power structures in society, to devise strategies for dismantling these and, through different means, to fight for social justice. We believe the most profound learning occurs when participants are actively engaged in shaping the learning process and defining problems and solutions based on their own experiences. At the Global Platforms we strive to create non-hierarchical environments. While some people can have a coordinating role, everyone is involved in decision-making processes. We attempt to create a small version of the society that we hope to see in the world; so gender roles are reversed and young people, no matter where they come from, have equal space and value.


HOW WE SUPPORT:

SPACES FOR PARTICIPATORY AND ACTION-ORIENTED LEARNING We support youth-led spaces for participatory and action-oriented learning. For more than 10 years we have delivered tailor-made capacity development to young people, organisations and movements fighting for social justice.

If the capacity development does not meet the demands of our partners or the context, we are able to customise or design it from scratch or merely provide facilitation support to ensure that it meets specific requirements.

The key focus points of our capacity development are:

All capacity development follows our Learning Development Cycle – our system for ensuring that our capacity development is supported by common quality standards, is contextualised and rooted locally and contributes to making a concrete impact.

CAMPAIGNING: Gaining in-depth understanding of campaign strategies, tactics and practical experience with running actual campaigns. It is about exploring creative ways of introducing an agenda to the public and building alliances with like-minded people, movements and organisations. RIGHTS: Getting a deeper understanding of democracy, governance and the Sustainable Development Goals from a human rights perspective. It is about claiming young people’s rights by holding stakeholders accountable and ensuring political inclusion of young people in decision-making processes. LEADERSHIP: Strengthening young leaders’ ability to work actively with an educational approach to activism. It is about being capable of designing and conducting participatory and action-oriented workshops that can build collective power within a group of volunteers.

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Our capacity development is designed to actively engage people in the learning process and to support people’s learning in different ways before and after face-to-face training. To support this expanded learning process, we integrate different forms of coaching and mentoring support as well as online learning components and online communities focussing on peer-to-peer learning. Moreover, we have experience with running exclusively online learning programmes. Be updated on upcoming training here: www.globalplatforms.org/calendar


TOGETHER AGAINST CHILD MARRIAGE A group of young feminists from Bangladesh help prevent child marriage through dialogue and information 52% of all girls in Bangladesh are married before the age of 18, even though there is a law against child marriages. Since 2016 the Global Platform in Bangladesh has offered Young Feminist Leadership training focussed on inspiring young women and men to organise and confront structural exclusion of women, including child marriage. Following a training at the Global Platform, 16-year-old Sarmin managed to stop her own marriage with the help of fellow participants and a local headmaster. Since Sarmin and the rest of the group succeeded in stopping her marriage, they have held several local workshops on equality and prevention of child marriage. And together they have helped stop another three child marriages in the area. In 2018 these and other young feminists created a ‘Young Feminist Future Network’ focussed on sharing knowledge and strategizing with other feminists from more than 28 countries.

Watch the full story on: www.globalplatforms.org/stories


HOW WE SUPPORT:

SPACES FOR CREATIVE ACTIVISM AND ORGANISING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE We believe young people can take leadership and responsibility in driving change processes if given the space, support and trust. All over the world the Global Platforms support the creation of Youth Hubs – spaces for creative activism and organising for social justice. A Youth Hub is a space where young people take the lead, where they can think freely and develop their ideas and connect with other young activists, youth networks and movements. A Youth Hub is managed by young people and is only supported by us. As of today, the different Youth Hubs have deliberately taken many forms depending on the local needs and context. In most countries the Youth Hubs work as a natural extension of our capacity development efforts, allowing former participants to further pursue learning, ideas or campaign activities they engaged with. As the Youth Hubs are increasingly created in collaboration with local and global partners, the space and activities often go under different names and focusses such as: labs for creative activism, mentorship networks, digital communities, cafÊs, hostels, youth-led research centres, mobile training hubs etc.

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One thing the diverse Youth Hubs have in common is that they all contribute to building collective power of young people to fight social injustice. Therefore, all Youth Hubs are guided by our three stages of youth engagement: JOIN: Reach out to young people with different backgrounds and engage them through popular activities. Most Youth Hubs are great at involving a lot of people in popular social activities such as film screenings, debates, poetry, art, music and dance. Social activities are never an aim in themselves, but a good starting point for future engagement and building relations. LEAD: Build a strong feeling of ownership of the Youth Hub. This is about making sure that people are invited to take the lead on events or campaigns, propose ideas and launch new initiatives. SHARE: Ensure that events and campaigns with potential are scaled up and connected with similar actors working with the same focus. This is also about enabling the young people from the Youth Hub to engage with and learn from larger movements and alliances.


EQUAL ACCESS TO WATER A group of activists from the Mt. Kenya Youth Hub gather decision-makers and ensure fair distribution of clean water Every year a great number of Kenyans suffer from long periods of draught and water shortage. After a series of research activities on access to water, activists from the Mt. Kenya Youth Hub decided to launch an advocacy campaign on water rights. Following a successful online campaign and workshops with inhabitants, lawyers and local government representatives, several of their proposals were implemented. Among others, the local government agreed to standardise water prices and ensure more information and transparency on water distribution. As a result of the campaign and other socio-political activities, young people in the area are increasingly recognised as opinion-makers and actors in decision-making processes. The GP Youth Hub near Mt. Kenya was established in 2015 by a group of committed young activists. Today the Youth Hub is supported by a partnership between Red Cross and ActionAid Global Platforms.

Watch the full story on: www.globalplatforms.org/stories


HOW WE SUPPORT:

SPACES FOR CONNECTING PEOPLE, ORGANISATIONS AND MOVEMENTS We support youth-led spaces for connecting people, organisations and movements. Social movements and networks around the world are emerging faster than ever before, but we often see them lose momentum after a short while, struggling to attract public attention or mobilise more people.  By connecting young people, networks and movements in communities across social and geographical borders we foster mutual learning, organising, solidarity and sustained actions on emerging issues. As part of this effort we organise convenings and coaching of frontline activists, bring together thematic networks at national, regional and global levels and facilitate online communities for sharing knowledge and creating new alliances and campaigns. CONNECTING COMMUNITIES For years we have worked on gathering and forming safe spaces for social movement leaders to share skills, strategies and experiences. The convenings we facilitate contribute to maintaining people’s connectedness through different online groups that facilitate coaching, joint strategising, solidarity actions and skill sharing. These convenings have proven relevant on

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several occasions where activists have been arrested or abducted and rapid response has been necessary. We believe solidarity is a core principle of building collective people power. Therefore, we support and mobilise for different solidarity campaigns on emerging issues both within our network and by bringing together other networks, organisations and movements on common causes. Digital tools allow us to gather people in different online communities – often focussed around peerto-peer learning. An example is our partner Beautiful Trouble www.beautifultrouble.org, which provides tools and methods developed by and for young people, connecting partners and alliances globally.


RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE Through creative activism a group of young activists contributed to concrete improvements for low-income families in El Salvador For many years El Salvador has had one of the lowest minimum wages in Latin America. In the autumn of 2016, a group of participants in a Campaign training at Global Platform El Salvador decided to focus on the unfair minimum wages as the topic of their campaign. Combining public actions, coverage in national television and radio, funny and sarcastic videos and a meme-based social media strategy, the campaign ended up attracting the attention of a lot of young people who otherwise seemed rather apathetic about the issue. Alliances with more than 15 movements and organisations nationwide expanded the reach of the campaign and resulted in greater national exposure. In December 2016 El Salvador’s Minimum Wage Council approved the largest minimum wage increase in the history of the country, raising the minimum wage of apparel sector workers by around 29 per cent and the minimum wage of the country’s lowest paid workers by 102 per cent. Following this victory, the campaign has become a point of reference demonstrating the impact a campaign designed and executed by young people can have.

Watch the full story on: www.globalplatforms.org/stories


LET’S WORK TOGETHER Partnerships enable us to achieve greater results together. We are always looking for new partners and allies across sectors.

A partnership with us can help to: // Unleash the potential of your organisation, movement or network to ensure progressive youth-led change through tailor-made capacity development focussed around your specific requirements.

We work closely together with many local and global organisations, networks and movements. Being a Global Platform partner means working together in an active relationship, which enables both parties to achieve greater results.

// Improve your facilitation skills within participatory and action-oriented learning with a high level of participant engagement that will continue beyond the training.

The partnerships we are engaged with vary from solving particular assignments as a service provider to organisations through strategic partnerships with no funds involved based on common missions to co-creating projects where we conceptualise and fundraise projects together.

// Initiate new youth-led spaces and projects together, either supported by or in cooperation with the Global Platforms.

Read more at: www.globalplatforms.org Or email us at: contact@globalplatforms.org

// Become part of an extensive international network for youth-led activism – where you will be working with inspiring, creative activists and political change-makers from all over the world.

Denmark

Jordan Myanmar

Palestine

El Salvador

Bangladesh Uganda Ghana

Kenya Zambia

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Global Platforms

New youth-led spaces


SUPPORTING LGBT ACTIVISTS Breaking silos and building alliances for LGBT rights in Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya with ALL OUT and local LGBT organisations In collaboration with All Out and local LGBT organisations, the Global Platforms produced a series of capacity building workshops for LGBT activists from Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria on digital campaigning, public mobilisation and creative non-violent action promoting LGBT rights. All Out is a global LGBT network with over two million supporters around the world that organises social media actions to gather support for emerging cases of violated LGBT rights. As a result of the capacity building, the LGBT youth gained: ■■ Knowledge, skills and attitude to planning, strategiz-

ing and executing creative and targeted advocacy campaigns in their communities. ■■ Increased confidence and skills as community leaders

capable of attracting support and connecting with important stakeholders and like-minded organisations. Many of the participants helped mobilise allies for Pride Uganda in 2017. ■■ Access to a network of dedicated and experienced

LGBT activists. These more than 73 LGBT activists are still connected through WhatsApp and are supporting and building alliances across Africa on LGBT issues.

MATT BEARD Executive Director, All Out

This series of capacity development workshops has trained LGBT activists in Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria in critical digital and campaigning skills. But it has also created vibrant new cross-national networks and empowered our partners to work more effectively together.


FEMINIST FRIDAYS

Once a month young people with different backgrounds gather to put feminism on the Zambian agenda On March 8 people all over the world mark the International Women’s Day. Each year this generates momentary attention to and discussions on women’s rights and gender equality. At the GP Youth Hub in Zambia young activists do this all year round – through a concept called Feminist Friday. Feminist Friday is the first space of its kind in Zambia exclusively dedicated to feminism, where women and men can meet to discuss, share experiences and prepare strategies for incorporating feminism into different spheres of society. Changurufaru Chibesa, a young activist and feminist, conceptualised and initiated the monthly event together with a group of activists she had met in connection with Feminist Leadership training at Global Platform Zambia. The monthly event has from time to time struggled with misinterpretation and low attendance – especially by young men. However, through different creative methodologies the young activists have managed to reach out to a lot of young women and men in their collective attempt to put feminism and equality on the Zambian agenda.

Watch the full story on: www.globalplatforms.org/stories


SCHOOLS FOR PALESTINE In Palestine a youth group organised their peers to do advocacy and mobilise funds to reclaim the right to education for the next generation In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the education system is in disrepair, largely as a result of the Israeli occupation. Nevertheless, in Mreish, a village near Hebron in the southern part of Palestine, a small energetic youth group have achieved great improvements of the local school. Through a persistent effort the youth group managed to raise almost 50.000 USD for the school. Beside of ensuring a general upgrade of the education quality, the money was spent on constructing six new classrooms. Not only did the youth group manage to ensure local education for all children from the village – they also set new and very concrete standards for what young people can accomplish collectively. The story of the youth group was acknowledged by the Ministry of Education and has inspired other young people to start their own youth groups. For more than four years the youth group consisting of 15 active members have been supported by by ActionAid Palestine and ActionAid’s Global Platform in Palestine through different forms of action-oriented capacity development.

Watch the full story on: www.globalplatforms.org/stories 15


GLOBAL PLATFORMS ARE YOUTH-LED SPACES FOR BUILDING COLLECTIVE POWER. THROUGH CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT TO YOUTH-LED INITIATIVES, WE SEEK TO INSPIRE YOUNG PEOPLE TO ORGANISE AND ACT ON SOCIAL INJUSTICE AND TO CONNECT PEOPLE, ORGANISATIONS AND MOVEMENTS ALL OVER THE WORLD. FIND THE NEAREST GLOBAL PLATFORM AT: WWW.GLOBALPLATFORMS.ORG OR GET IN TOUCH AT: CONTACT@GLOBALPLATFORMS.ORG

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Profile for Global Platforms

Building collective power  

A short introduction to ActionAid Global Platforms - packed with inspiring stories about young people making a difference. Global Platform...

Building collective power  

A short introduction to ActionAid Global Platforms - packed with inspiring stories about young people making a difference. Global Platform...