15th February, New Delhi – UNESCO MGIEP took the next big stride after Malaysia, and towards youth empowerment, with the launch of YESPeace—the Youth for Education, Sustainability and Peace—India Country Programme. This marks the beginning of a journey to transform the – 356 million strong – youth of India into Global citizens, through the unique lens of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development.
The launch event was co-hosted by UNESCO MGIEP in collaboration with Pravah & CYC (Commutiny Youth Collective), partners of YESPeace India.
The highly-charged conversations, at TAG 2016, amongst youth leaders from across the world, on – Can education radicalize youth for peace? – provided a perfect setting for the YESPeace India launch. But what really stole the limelight that day was the part where the youth themselves took to the stage to launch the YESPeace India country programme.
‘Education is what gives individuals the knowledge, aspiration and values to live in dignity and act for common good. This is why it the most basic foundation for building lasting peace and sustainable development’
– Irina Bokova
YESPeace Network is a network of networks, which offers online and on-the-ground global engagement opportunities for young people. The network’s interactive and creative potential supports youth action by providing an online space for young people and youth organizations to learn about, support, and co-create campaigns and projects, as well as build the bridges that link local, regional and global youth actions. The on-the-ground programmes at national levels provides the space to raise awareness, and influence issues, which are locally and globally relevant and empowers young people on Education for Peace, Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship.
It has been selected as one of the flagship programmes for the youth priority area of UNESCO’s Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development with a special focus on Sustainable Development Goal 4.7. The programme aims to provide young people with access to policymakers and to the arenas where policies are enacted.
During the launch session, Neha Buch, CEO Pravah, our India partners along with CYC, provided a brief glimpse of the YESPeace India SMILE programme (Students’ Mobilisation Initiative for Learning through Exposure). The programme takes the youth through an enriching and rigorous journey of self-discovery, in which the youth is introduced to a transformative learning experience, especially through the lenses of Peace and Sustainability – helping them emerge as Global Citizens equipped with a strong sense to build a more peaceful and sustainable society.
The programme aims to build a systemic learning environment on Education for Peace and Sustainable Development where the learner eventually becomes empowered and further goes on to transform society by reaching out to a larger base of youth.