We held the PARTICIPATE! International Conference from 17th to 25th October 2022 bringing together participants from Kenya, Denmark and Zimbabwe. The participants were drawn from members organizations of Youth Alive! Kenya , YETT Zimbabwe , and the Danish Youth Council (DUF). The objective of the convening was to foster cross-country learning, networking, development of partnerships and co-creation of change projects and activities that would qualify for funding from the DUFs (Danish Youth Council) international pool.
PARTICIPATE! promotes a democratic civil society where young people act as change agents that take part in decision-making processes and influence politics and developmental efforts.
In this write-up, Winnie a participant, reflects on the 10-day event and what she learned.
My name is Winnie Mueni from Dream Achievers Youth Organization , a member of Youth Alive’s Mombasa working group. I serve as the Assistant M&E Officer . I was privileged to take part in the Participate 2022 International Conference which took place from17th to 26th October bringing on board young people from Kenya, Zimbabwe and Denmark.
What did you learn?
I really learnt a lot but let me mention a few things. I really appreciated the different national youth contexts of the countries represented. To my surprise, the youth crisis in Kenya and Zimbabwe was almost the same. This was evident in the high numbers of unemployment in both countries. I acquired new knowledge on the use of problem and solution trees. This added to my project management skills.
What was my biggest memory?
I have some very phenomenal memories. The exhibition was one of them. I was able to learn how the organizations represented were doing projects back in their countries and how they were doing it differently from our Kenyan context. I will remember how we designed our change projects and received feedback from our PARTICIPATE! counterparts. I liked the Design thinking and innovation breakout workshop. The major takeaway was the approach to problem solving using Mckinsey’s prioritization Matrix. During a visit by participants to DAYO, I was excited to take the entire group through our work. Finally, I will not forget the cultural night as it gave me an insight into the diverse cultures in Kenya, Denmark and Zimbabwe.
How did the conference help prepare you and your organization to create democratic change with a global view?
From the conference I learnt we ought to work concertedly as youths from Denmark, Zimbabwe and Kenya to achieve meaningful youth participation.
Anything else you want to talk about?
I appreciate the generosity and youth-centered approach of DUF, YETT and Youth Alive. I am thankful to my fellow PARTICIPATE! participants who kept the conference vibrant and interactive. I am looking forward to enhancing the partnerships and friendships we created at the conference from an organizational standpoint and at an individual level.