Youth Retreat 2010

NARRATIVE REPORT

Society for Health Education (SHE), since its inception in 1988, has continued to explore options and means to enhance the quality of life of the Maldivian families and the community. The organization reaffirms its commitment to sustain these initiatives and to further increase public awareness on issues that influence family well being. Effectiveness of health promotion initiatives are ensured by adopting applicable service delivery mechanisms, fostering improvements in reproductive health parameters, continuing Thalassaemia prevention activities and, promoting responsible parenthood concepts, facilitating empowerment of women and youth, supporting victims of abuse, extending counseling to adolescents and families, encouraging community ownership of development.

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) South Asia regional Youth Network (SARYN) is a youth led network run by IPPF youth volunteers in South Asia and supported by IPPF South Asia Region Office and its 8 Member Associations. The main objectives of IPPF SARYN are to ensure meaningful youth participation within the IPPF governing system in SAR and ensuring meaningful involvement of young people at all levels of programmes and services in the MAs.

SHE in collaboration with IPPF is working on different programmes targeting to Youth and general population. IPPF South Asia region Office has been holding youth retreat meetings in every south Asia region member Association to build the capacity of the young people as well as to discuss on youth net working and youth Adults participation. In line with these activities “Youth Retreat 2010” was planned for Maldives.

Objectives:

The main objectives of this four day event are:

  1. To emphasize on youth participation
  2. To promote youth volunteerism
  3. To identify and recommend how to address the challenges faced by youth.
  4. To build a youth adult partnership
  5. To form and develop a network at the member association level by means of Youth Committee from Maldives

Activity Plan:

This event was planned and coordinated by the SHE staff; Asna Luthfee and Mariyam Shifneeza from the programme department and Hawwa Afrau and Thoma Abdul Samad from counseling department.

  • Initially, contact was made with different resorts to hold the retreat and acquire rates to finalize the budget. Dhonveli Island resort was confirmed with the rates quoted by them. A budget was drafted and finalized. (Annex 1: Budget).
  • An advance payment of 10,260.00 USD was requested by Dhonveli’ and a Performa Invoice was submitted. The payment was made 7 days prior to the date of the event. (Annex 2: Performa Invoice from Chaaya, Dhonveli’ Island Resort)
  • Schedule for the retreat was proposed by SHE to the facilitator from IPPF, Mr. Milinda Rajapaksha. After various correspondences via email, a scheduled was also finalized. (Annex 3:Agenda)
  • Participants were selected from within the youth volunteer members of SHE. 5 participants, who were previously not members, joined the organization by filling the membership application form. Invitation was also sent to JCI Maldives, an NGO to participate and to provide names of 5 participants. 23 participants were confirmed initially. However, upon confirmation on the date of the event, 5 participants cancelled and 18 attended; 15 members from SHE and 3 members from JCI. (Annex 4: Participant List)
  • Transfer to Dhonveli was corresponded and confirmed with Sirius Boat Services. (Annex 5)
  • A banner for the event was designed. The printing work was done by Novelty Printers and Publishers Private Limited. (Annex 6
  • It was decided that the participants would wear T-shirts at the retreat. Therefore designs were finalized and printed by DONAD Investment Private Limited. (Annex 7)
  • Accommodation of Mr. Milinda Rajapaksha in Male’ was arranged after receiving the travel itinerary. (Annex 8)
  • Contact was made with the Senior Volunteers of SHE, to join the Retreat on the 2nd Day as the schedule consists of a session between youth volunteers and senior volunteers. 5 senior volunteers confirmed. (Annex 4: Participant List)
  • Before the team left for the retreat an orientation meeting was held at SHE on the 19th of July 2010 for all members. In this meeting the Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ajmal introduced SHE to the group. He also explained the relationship SHE has with IPPF and also the objectives of the retreat. The group in turn made enquiries, which were answered by Mr. Ajmal.
  • An advance payment for the event was request for and was received from the Finance Department. (Annex 9)

Facilitator, Mr. Milinda Rajapaksha arrived in Male’ on the 21st of July 2010. He was received by staff from the programme department Ms. Mariyam Shifneeza and Ms. Asna Luthfee. He met with the senior management team of SHE and matters regarding the Retreat were discussed.

The team departed from Male’ on the 22nd of July 2010 at 8:00 a.m and reached Dhonveli at 8:30 a.m.

The team was met by the management of Dhonveli who welcomed everyone warmly. After having breakfast the team met at the conference room, where the retreat began officially.

DAY 1: 22nd of July 2010

Ms. Hawwa and Ms. Shifneeza initiated the session by giving a welcome note and a little introduction. Since everyone was quite new to each other, Ms. Hawwa started with an energizer.

In this energizer all participants, including SHE staff and Mr. Milinda were given a sheet of paper in which they were instructed to make a self portrait of themselves and write down the name, age hobby and what the person would change about his/her life if God gave him/ her another chance. The sheets were collected when completed and then distributed randomly. She then asked each person to come up front and describe the portrait they received. This energizer helped everyone to get familiar with each other and get to know a little bit more about the people whom they were going to spend the remaining three days with!

 After the energizer Ms. Hawwa informed that ground rules have to set for the retreat which everyone will have to follow. The group was given a few minutes to decide on what the ground rules will be. They were written down on paper and posted on the wall where everyone would see them.

After the energizer Mr. Milinda explained the main objectives of the retreat.

1.       Opportunity to meet youth – youth
2.       Be part of organization members of IPPF
3.       Have fun

Session 1: Society for Health Education (SHE), and introduction

Ms. Hawwa gave the group an introductory speech about SHE.

Society for Health Education is a Non- governmental organization founded in the year 1988 pioneering for the promotion of better health for the Maldivians. The main programmes of the organization encompasses on Thalassaemia Prevention, Counseling & psychosocial support services, Reproductive Health, Health Promotion Community empowerment and others. Under the Project of IPPF, SHE is carrying out Youth Adolescents Reproductive Health Programme.

Participants then asked questions on how SHE gets funds. This was answered by Ms. Hawwa and Ms. Shifneeza, explaining that SHE conducts different events for fundraising, sponsors rewards the organizations with donations as well as international donors such as IPPF, Global fund and UNODC whose projects which SHE is implementing.

Session 2: Experience Sharing and Discussion of Youth Problems.

Participants discussed about the Maldivian youth and the problems faced by them. The youth group discussed how the Maldivian youth does not have anything to do and how boredom could be one huge factor which leads this vulnerable group into risky behavior, like drug abuse, prostitution, violence, and gang fights etc.

Session 3: Youth Participation & Meaningful Youth Participation

First Mr. Milinda explained why youth is so important;

  • They are the future generation of the society.
  • They are the influential society of any nation.

Next he asked from the group what they think is youth participation. Some gave their opinions;

  • Being involved in the youth society
  • Contribution in youth related activities
  • Providing information to the general youth population.

However most of the participants did not know what it means and how it can be achieved. Mr. Milinda explained what Youth Participation means in terms of IPPF; which is the involvement of young people in the policy making or decision making of issues regarding the youth. He explained that it is a responsibility of the youth, with their involvement in the governing bodies, to be able to make decisions in regard to youth issues. Some participants viewed their opinions that it is very difficult for them to actually make a difference. Participants already working close to the youth issues have found problems that need the assistance of the government or any other respective bodies. However, their suggestions, or complains go unattended. Mr. Milinda explained that, that is why IPPF has organized this retreat. So that youth can form their own committee which will be able to make decisions and also conduct activities only for the youth society. SHE and IPPF will be guiding the committee that is formed to carry out its agenda.

Mr. Milinda then explained what meaningful youth participation is; the involvement of youth in a cause that has a significant effect on the society. For example, if you target to prevent youth from taking drugs, the result must be seen. That is the number of youth getting involved in drugs must reduce within the targeted time. If you can make a difference, that means you are meaningfully participating in the cause.

He also explained that volunteerism isn’t only about organizing. It also consists of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes.

Session 4: International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)

Mr. Milinda facilitated this session by giving a detailed introduction on IPPF.

International Planned Parenthood Federation or IPPF was founded in the year 1952.

Each Regional Office has their own Member Associations (MA). The South Asia Regional Office (SARO) has 8 MA, which is also the region which Maldives belongs to. Each of these MA’s has a Youth Committee (volunteers) which is the governing body (Implement policies). The staff is the management; that is the policy makers. The young volunteers are the decision makers of the youth society.

Mr. Milinda finished the day on the note that by the end of the retreat a Youth Committee will be formed from within the youth volunteers in this retreat.

After the sessions, there was a barbeque. This gave a refreshing and an extravagant atmosphere where all youth participants, SHE staff and Mr. Milinda were able to get familiar and informal with each other. Everyone enjoyed the evening.

DAY 2: 23rd of July 2010

The second day of the retreat began with a recap from two participants, Amaan Ali and Ibrahim Zameer.

Session 1: Role of Volunteers in Youth Programmes

In this session, Mr. Milinda explained to the group who a volunteer is. A person who, with or without a pay or a TOR takes the responsibility to do something good for the humanity or takes the responsibility of a good cause.

The difference between an activist and a volunteer was also defined. An activist is a person who is a voice to the system, whilst a volunteer makes a difference by implementing to the cause.

A Volunteer must have the following attributes:

1.       Believe in the cause
2.       Take initiative
3.       Be creative
4.       Be responsible

Mr. Milinda explained the types of volunteerism and one important type is Passionate Volunteerism: Being responsible in a cause which you are not in agreement with, but one you go forward with nonetheless.

Afterwards, the participants were divided into 4 groups where they were given the task of making a list of activities which they can conduct as volunteers.

Each group then presented their ideas.

Session 2: Youth networking & Challenges Faced By the Youth.      

Session 4: Meeting with senior volunteers and youth volunteers on meaningful of youth participation according to IPPF & Youth – Adult Partnership.

This session of the retreat was conducted and facilitated with the association of senior volunteer members of SHE.

Introductions were made before the session resumed. All members expressed their pleasure in meeting with the Youth committee members.

To begin with, the senior members shared their experiences with the group. Mr. Mohamed Ajmal, Chief Executive Officer of SHE explained that volunteerism is something that you do from the heart. It gives you satisfaction of doing a good deed for the society.

Dr. Aishath Shiham, Chairperson of SHE, also shared her thoughts. Volunteerism is the ability to support another person. A society will not survive without volunteers

Mr. Milinda inquired from the senior volunteer, on behalf of the youth group, what benefit youth volunteers can achieve from SHE by volunteering. This question was answered by Mr. Ajmal.

  • SHE can provide a space for the YC to use as an office. (to plan activities, hold meetings, gathering place)
  • Can provide capacity building in different fields that the volunteers feel they need to build.
  • Youth will be able to represent themselves in organization at a broader level.
  • Give the YC a mechanism in to develop a system for volunteerism.

Dr. Aishath Shiham added some points as well.

  • SHE can teach the volunteers on the etiquette of facing an audience, the way to talk to people. ‘
  • Give the volunteers the right information, to provide the society with the correct information.
  • Chance to reach people through different programmes which SHE is already implementing such as Multipurpose Health Trips.

Some volunteers expressed the frustrations which they are facing. Mr. Haleem, member of the Executive committee of SHE, advised the volunteers that there is always two ways of doing something. It can either be easy or hard. However, you have to choose the way, and in doing so you have to be strong. Frustration is never an answer.

One participant inquired how volunteers much react or approach to any controversial issues, such as abortions or condom distributions. Mr. Ajmal replied that SHE will guide the volunteers through any difficulties they face from society; SHE will implement such activities after discussions held with the policy makers of the country. Currently SHE is working to achieve this goal.

The senior volunteers expressed their interest in establishing a Youth – Adult partnership. It will help to reach to the youth society of the country and overcome the most at risk issues which we are facing today. SHE will give full support to make this partnership work.

Mr. Milinda advised the youth group with some points regarding the discussions.

  • Volunteers have to be passionate with the work they do; IPPF is working for the cause of changing people’s lives.
  •  If SHE is giving YC a chance to be part of the organization, then it is the responsibility of the YC volunteers to contribute and be professional.
  • Respect the forum by contributing; work hard to achieve your goals, understand issues, and share your hardships with the adults as they will your guide.
  • Do not expect results to happen within a short period of time; need to be patient.

After the discussions Ms. Hawwu conducted an activity. The adults and the youth were divided and given the task of producing a drawing that represents the other, and also to identify the positive and the negative attitudes by means of the drawings.

The day ended with after this session.

Afterwards, all participants got together to have some fun time. Games such as miming and musicals were played.

DAY 3: 24th of July 2010

Recap of day 2 was given by two participants Ismail Anees and Mariyam Adam

Session 1: Present Interventions by Youth in their regions

Mr. Milinda explained and went through the structures of the existing youth committees within the region. He looked at the YC of Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. For each country, he explained the number of branches they have, the number of office bearers, the election process, how members are selected for the national youth committees and executive committees. After this session the participants were able to get an idea of how to plan their own youth committee.

Session2: Articulate Vision & Objective of the network

The objective of the network was explained in this session. That is for the youth all around the country and different regions to come together and work for the same cause.

Session 4: Frame of the network

Mr. Milinda explained how a YC has to be structured. In structuring a network one has to be aware of:

1.       How many members must be in the YC?
2.       The age group.
3.       The office bearers.

  • Qualification
  • Period of service
  • Responsibilities
  • Roles

4.       Election process
5.       Youth quality

After the explanations the participants were divided into four groups and they were given the task of proposing a framework for the committee.

After the activity, each group presented their proposed structures.

When all groups have finished presentation, Mr. Milinda explained the flaws and how they can be amended. A 4th model was discussed.

  • Start with existing member.
  • Select 4 office bearers: President, vice president, secretary treasurer.
  • Election process: by voting
  • After establishment: capacity building with knowledge, skills.

The sessions ended on this note.

DAY 4: 25th of July 2010

Recap of day 3 was presented by 2 participants, Aishath Saeed and Mariyam Sama

Session 1: Developing TOR’s of the network, Office Bearers and Process of Election

In this session Mr. Milinda, explained that office bearers must be selected through a voting between the members of the Youth Committee. Each office bearer can serve to a maximum of 2 years. This is, so that more volunteers can get the chance to take the lead roles.

A group activity was carried out. The participants were divided into groups where they were given the task of writing down the roles/ responsibilities of the office bearers, the duration of service,

Session 3: What Next?

This was the final session of the retreat. In this session the volunteers were given the time to decide how they are going to progress now that the Youth Committee was formed.

1.       Capacity building on knowledge & skills

                                I.            Communication

                              II.            SRH

                            III.            Leadership aptitudes

                            IV.            Time management

                              V.            Facilitation skills

                            VI.            Writing skills

                          VII.            Etc

2.       Activities to be held within the next three months

                          I.            Establishing the committee formally

a.       Electing committee & registration
b.      Roles , TOR
c.       Rules/ regulation of the committee
d.      Logo, mission , vision

It was decided that a meeting will be held on the 7th of August 2010 at SHE. ‘

Agenda of the meeting

  • Fixing the date of the meeting
  • Rules and regulations

THE RETREAT ENDS!

With the agreement on these terms the retreat officially ended. Mr. Milinda gave a small speech of appreciation to the group and certificates were distributed. On behalf of the participants, Ibrahim Zameer said a vote of thanks to Mr. Milinda.

Thank you votes were also given to the management of Dhonveli Island resort.

The group returned to Male’ at 8:00pm. All participants left with the anticipation of meeting soon.

CONSTRAINTS

  • Since it is a new activity for SHE, getting participants was very difficult.
  • Participants, who had given commitment to attend, cancelled at the last minute.

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • A youth committee formed
  • Enthusiastic Volunteer group elected
  • Everyone had a fun time
  • Youth were very motivated to form a network

RECOMMENDATION/ FEEDBACK

  •  Involve the youth participants in the activities conducted by SHE
  • Carry out activities across the country so that more members can be involved in the youth activities.

 

FINANCIAL REPORT

No

Detail

Allocated Budget in APB 2010 (USD)

Estimated Budget (USD)

Actual (USD)

Variance (USD)

Reasons for Variance

SHE

IPPF

Other

1.

Resort Expenses: Chaaya Island Donveli

a)

Accommodation

00.00

8,060.00

00.00

8,060.00

00.00

0.00

b)

Conference Room Charges  Full day

00.00

1,200.00

00.00

1,200.00

00.00

0.00

c)

Snack

00.00

1000.00

00.00

1,000.00

00.00

0.00

d)

Transfer Charges

00.00

560.00

00.00

933.90

00.00

-373.90

2 launches were required as 25 pax total. Each launch carries 19 pax per ride, including transfer of senior volunteers

e)

Barbeque for Participants

00.00

00.00

00.00

1049.90

00.00

-1049.90

This activity was arranged after the budget was set

f)

Other Expenses

00.00

00.00

00.00

215.54

00.00

-215.51

2.

Banner Printing+ Riveting

00.00

234.00

00.00

65.36

00.00

168.64

4.

T- Shirt Printing

00.00

137.00

00.00

175.10

00.00

-38.10

5.

Stationeries

00.00

00.00

00.00

12.45

00.00

-12.45

Items such as tapes,  certificate papers

6.

Miscellaneous

00.00

00.00

00.00

00.00

a)

Ferry Fare

00.00

00.00

00.00

3.89

00.00

-3.89

Pick up of facilitator Mr. Milinda Rajapakse from Airport

b)

Taxi fare

00.00

00.00

00.00

7.39

00.00

-7.39

Pick up of facilitator Mr. Milinda Rajapakse from Airport

c)

Phone Card

00.00

00.00

00.00

7.78

00.00

-7.78

d)

Immigration Fee

00.00

00.00

00.00

58.37

00.00

-58.37

For Visa of Mr. Milinda

e)

Hotel Accommodation

00.00

00.00

00.00

228.00

00.00

-228.00

For Mr. Milinda Rajapakse

f)

Other

00.00

00.00

00.00

7.78

00.00

-7.78

Spending cash for  Mr. Milinda
Sub- Total

00.00

11,871.00

00.00

13,025.50

00.00

-1,154.5

Misc 2% of Sub total

00.00

237.42

00.00

00.00

00.00

237.42

TOTAL

00.00

12,108.42

00.00

13,025.50

00.00

917.00

 

 

What do you think?

Name (required) :

Email (required) :

Website :