Young Minds

Christian Noah Interview

Christian-Noah-InterviewPlease tell us about yourself?

My name is Christian Noah, I am a young boy aged 24, I’m a professional Sociologist working with Kivulini Youth engagement program based in Mwanza region-Tanzania.

I have a knowledge and understanding of Tanzanian National policies, gender issues and an issue relevant to the rights of Young People, women and children’s.

Currently I was employed as a Program Officer by Kivulini Women’s Rights Organization to implement THE SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT. The project aims to increase the voice Young people in negotiation abilities and decision processes.

I have enough experience in working with community members, government, CSO’s and different stakeholders.

What is the name of the community outreach project you involved in? And what is it all about?

The project aims to empowering young people aged 11 to 30 years to take a lead in gender based violence prevention, job creation and decision making processes in the society through solution focused approach (SFA).

Worldwide, domestic and sexual violence limits the ability of women and children have to enjoy their basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Youth engagement program implementing three year 2011-2013 aiming to empower youth to be better organized to actively demand observance of children’s and women’s rights which includes the prevention and mitigation of domestic and sexual violence. Based on a holistic approach additionally communities are motivated and held accountable to treat women, girls and children’s as valuable and equal human beings. Through community dialogues, audio-visual events, psychosocial support and solution focused counselling, the project increase awareness and motivation of citizens to prevent DSV while enabling survivors of violence to access psychosocial support and legal aid.

When did it start? What motivated you to start this project?

Project name: prevention of domestic and sexual violence, Youth engagement.

The project starts on. 2011-2013; we started this project while the health and well being of youth are crucial for the development of the nation.  In Tanzania almost two third (65%) of the population is under the age of 24.  However, majority, of them are unemployed, face gender based violence and are rarely participating on issues affecting their life.

Current estimates show violence against children is so serious that, at the age of 18 more than a quarter of girls (28%) and more than 10 percent of boys (13%) have experienced sexual violence which can also expose them to HIV infection. Particularly, young house maids, boys and girls with disabilities as well as orphans have suffered more from sexual abuse, rape and molestation.

 What is the purpose this project?

  • To mobilize young people to condemn gender based violence. In Tanzania more than a half of young women and 40% of young men believe that physical violence against women and girls is okay. There the program is reducing social acceptance among young people.(TDHS-2010)
  • To increase young people representation in decision making structures/organs.
  • To equip young people with employable skills and income generating activities/projects.

What do you want to achieve with project?

  • All forms of domestic and sexual violence against women, girls and children’s reduced.
  • Increased ownership on the problems of domestic and sexual violence by all members of community i.e men, women and children since violence affects everyone.
  • Increased education and awareness among citizens to be able to condemn domestic and sexual violence against women and girls.
  • Increased number of young people participating on Development meetings and decision making meetings.
  • Young people have their own income generating projects which will create a chance to employ their fellow youth.

 How one can get involved in the project?

People involved in the project through different outreach activities i.e, video literacy session, Trainings/workshops, dialogues and registration of youth change makers who will join a movement to condemn violence against women, young girls and children’s.

What were some of the challenges you faced as a young person starting your own project?

  • Inadequately support from the government.
  • Inadequately support from some of young people in a targeted community.
  • Insufficiently source of funding.

How has the community benefited from the project?

Community (especially women, youth and children’s) receive positive advantages from the project; through the main concern of violence prevention; as a project goal aims to prevent violence against women, children’s and Youth). So we work to participate the above group to participate on different activities in order to meet the above goal, so when the targeted group will participate to condemn violence will help to meet with other people in a community indirectly.

Christian NoahWhat has been some of your biggest achievements yet?

  • Recognition of youth in the community; the outstanding reaction from those in the community concerning youth participation in community development meeting. As a result, more and more youth participating in development activities and meetings (such as ward development committee meetings and local government meetings) and many more are being invited to participate.
  • Increased awareness on rights and impact of domestic and sexual abuse to more than 30,000 people. In Tanzania there is a lack of educational opportunities and understanding about women’s rights which contributes to high rates of abuse in the community. Increasing awareness and knowledge on rights and impact of DV is essential in solving these issues.
  • Increased numbers of youth change makers, who condemn domestic violence in a community; about five thousands young people have been recruited to join a movement of domestic and sexual violence prevention. This is an incredible result that has stemmed from more than twenty thousand young people who are situated in their own communities taking action to prevent and condemn violence when it happens.

What do you think are some of the challenges facing African youth today?

The Inadequacy of the School

In contemporary Africa, the ‘school’ has become the primary means of preparing young people for the future. But in its present form, the ‘school’ is another institution that is going through a crisis in Africa.

Health:

In sub-Saharan Africa. Despite some regional variations, there is commonality in the causes of youth deaths worldwide. The causes of youth death include communicable diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and lower respiratory-tract infection) and non-communicable diseases related to problem behaviors (motor vehicle fatalities, violence, self-harm, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, and risky sex leading to early or unintended pregnancy).

Sexual activity:

Data from Demographic and Health Surveys since 2005 for 53 countries, including 31 in

Africa, indicate that the share of women beginning sexual activity before marriage is large.

Adolescent Pregnancies:

A significant proportion of adolescent pregnancies result from non-consensual sex, and most take place in the context of child marriage, a harmful practice which violates not only the human rights of adolescent girls who are forced into marriage, but also many international commitments and national laws.

Leadership and meaningful participation:

Young people’s right to participation in formal decision-making processes and in social, economic, environmental and political institutions remains limited and their potential, as a valuable resource to sustainable development, is often not recognized.

Youth and Employment:

In many counties of Africa, the unemployment rate has increased by almost five percentage points between 2010 and 2013. Available evidence shows that the livelihood activities of street youth are looked down upon by mainstream society. This has led to their negative labeling in much of Africa. In Tanzania, the unemployed youth roaming or hawking in the streets are called the ‘Manchinga’;

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I will be a Young leader and organizing young people’s organization, I will work to promote accountability, supporting better governance, and aiding delivery across varying contexts. It is becoming increasingly important to understand how youth will work to affect the political process for positive ends and how this involvement can be supported.

What would you like to change about Africa today?

I like to see all around Africa, youth are driving change and claiming respect for fundamental freedoms and rights, improved conditions for them and their communities, together with opportunities to learn, work and participate in decision that affect them.

What advice do you have for young people who want to start their own project?

Youth needed to have clearly proposed need/problem to address in a community. Also need to have a clearly defined logical frame work which will help them to meet their own target.

Also they need to create a strong and sustainable Partnership with other organization which work the same work, this will help to build a strong networking system which will create a room to share different strategies form different partner organizations.

How can other youth connect with you?

We welcome all youth worldwide to connect with us; the following is my contact information:-

Position: Program Officer Youth Participation-Program

Post Address: P.O Box 207, Mwanza, Tanzania

Phone Number: + 255 762 383145

Email Address: christiannoah670@gmail.com

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