Sajid Sheikh, Programme Coordinator, UNESCO MGIEP
‘A Voyage of Discovery’ YESPeace Network International Strategy Workshop 2016

UNESCO MGIEP hosts the first YESPeace Network International Strategy Workshop in collaboration with – Pravah and ComMutiny Collective, New Delhi, 2016.

UNESCO MGIEP along with – Pravah and ComMutiny Youth Collective – two leading youth-based NGOs in India co-designed and co-facilitated the first YESPeace (Youth for Education, Sustainability and Peace) Network International Strategy Workshop on Tuesday, 16 February 2016, New Delhi.

The workshop sought to bring to the forefront and discuss the challenges, opportunities and innovations encountered by youth and how EPSG can be used as a tool to enable young people to build more peaceful and sustainable societies.

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The previous day, Monday (15 February), at Talking Across Generations (TAG) 2016 – which also saw the launch of YESPeace India Country Programme – the major points discussed were the relevance and importance of Education in building peaceful and sustainable societies – especially through youth-led initiatives.

image 3“If TAG2016 emphasized the need of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, then the YESPeace Network International Strategy Workshop stood to pave the way towards realizing it.”Abel Caine, (Head) Youth and Communications, UNESCO MGIEP

YESPeace Network

The YESPeace Network is a global platform that seeks to mobilize, educate, engage, challenge, enable and empower youth around the world – towards building a peaceful and sustainable future through Education for Peace, Sustainable development and Global citizenship (EPSG).

YESPeace Network International Strategy Workshop (Participants)
Organisation, Country
1. Palestinian League for Human Rights, Syria/Sweden
2. Seeds of Peace, Afghanistan/USA
3. 3blassociates, Bahrain
4. University of Malaya, Malaysia
5. Leaders of Tomorrow, Jordan
6. World Bank, Afghanistan
7. Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER), Kyrgyzstan
8. GenPeace & Pax, Philippines
9. Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Youth Development, India
10. Seeds of Peace, India
11. Symbiosis University, India
12. Manzil, India
13. Restless Development, India
14. Prantkatha, India

The workshop aimed at providing a space for youth experts over the world to collaboratively discuss the issues, challenges, opportunities with/for young people in the area of EPSG.

Key objectives – YESPeace International Strategy Workshop:

• To develop a shared understanding of the context, opportunities and challenges involving youth and education for peace, sustainability and global citizenship in the countries represented in the room and the world in general.
• To seek value addition and strategic contribution to the suggested plans for YESPeace (Youth for Education, Sustainability and Peace) India – SMILE programme, with special focus on the curriculum and methodology
• To develop a shared vision and preliminary design for YESPeace Network national country programmes

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“We need to provide a space beyond family, friends, leisure, and career, where the youth mobilize themselves to discuss/learn Education for Peace, Sustainable development and Global citizenship (EPSG)- bridging the gap between the self and the society, and building a systemic learning environment by moving on to educate other youth about EPSG.” – Neha Buch, CEO, Pravah

During the course of the workshop, the participants were taken through a rigorous journey of introspection and analysis of the current condition of youth-led initiatives on Education for Peace and Sustainable development in their respective countries, and the world in general.

One major aspect of the workshop was to introduce the delegates to the YESPeace India SMILE programme – and seek/gain valuable insights and feedback, which would help strengthen the pilot programme of YESPeace India, by making it more robust and effective.

Key insights from the Workshop:

– Studying existing policy paradigms in the country.
– Stock taking of current EPSG organizations in the country.
– Emphasis on conflict resolution and deep self-awareness.
– Starting a new movement if none exists.
– Designing of an open source curriculum that can be shared and localized to each context.
– Blended learning approach with global evaluation.
– Making the curriculum inclusive for youth belonging to diverse backgrounds esp. those with different abilities and from disadvantaged groups.
– Inter-generational regional dialogue promotion.
– Emphasis on cross-border learning and programmes that have the potential to foster cross-border youth participation.
– Funding possibilities for expansion of YESPeace Network: endowment, bilateral, donors and CSR.
– Devising a mechanism to make the YESPeace Networks self-sustainable.
Next steps:
In the coming months UNESCO MGIEP will be rolling out the YESPeace India SMILE programme along with Youth-led Monitoring of SDG 4.7 – which is a set of framework that particularly monitors SDG 4.7. Also carried parallely throughout, would be the mapping and establishing of partnerships for YESPeace networks in other countries.

UNESCO MGIEP Contacts: 

Abel Caine (Senior Project Officer) – a.caine@unesco.org

Piyali Sarkar Debnath (Programme Officer) – p.sarkar@unesco.org

Deepika Joon (Programme Officer) – d.joon@unesco.org

Sajid Sheikh (Programme Coordinator) – s.sheikh@unesco.org

For more about the YESPeace Network: Download brochure

UNESCO MGIEP launches its Campus Ambassadors Programme at CEE in Ahmedabad – read more

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