Youth as Active and Responsible Citizens – Youth Act

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March 15, 2024

Context and Background: 

Along with government mismanagement, Sri Lanka has also been wracked by other recent crises with serious economic implications, including the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the government’s poor handling of the economy considered to be the cause, the country has also experienced widespread social protest; while these have been largely peaceful, they have nevertheless further heightened tensions. As social discontent continues to rise, there is real concern regarding the resurgence of inequality and historic grievances. This risks exacerbating existing and creating emerging challenges to fundamental freedoms in Sri Lanka.

Project Goals and Outcomes: 

YouthAct- Youth as Active and responsible Citizens is a 30-month project in response to the challenges and opportunities outlined above that builds on our ongoing programming. Supported by the US Bureau of Human Rights, Democracy, and Labor, the overall goal of the project is to empower youth and youth-led organizations to collaboratively promote the protection of democracy and inclusive governance. This goal is supported by the following objectives and expected results: 

Objective 1: Youth and youth-led organizations have increased skills and leadership capacity to promote inclusive governance and human rights 

Objective 2: Youth and youth-led organizations have opportunities to address existing and emerging challenges to fundamental freedoms in Sri Lanka (initiatives and joint work) 

Approach and Methodology: 

The project involves working with youth and youth parliamentarians from 5 districts in Sri Lanka- Batticaloa (Eastern Province), Mannar (Northern Province), Puttalam (Northwestern Province), Monaragala (Uva Province) and Nuwara eliya (Central Province). Partnering with the largest network of youth clubs and young people in the country- the National Youth Services Council, Search set up a training ground for the next generation of youth leaders in the form of the NextGen Political Academy. Serving as base for other activities, one of SFCG’s tested methods of working with youth- the Youth 360 Approach enables young people from the academy to take on youth led needs assessments, dialogues, and effective political stakeholder advocacy and collaborative community initiatives. 

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