Youth in (post-)conflict societies is often portrayed as a threat to security and stability. However, as inspirational young people such as Malala Yousafzai, Mayra Avellar Neves and Baruani Ndume (all winners/nominees of the International Children’s Peace Prize) show, through their innovativeness, passion and perseverance youth can play a tremendously important role in peace processes and development activities. To help youth in Burundi, South Sudan and the Palestinian territories to speak out for their interests and take an active role in the development of their communities, The Hague Academy has developed the Youth Public Leadership Academy (YPLA).
The YPLA aims to train and coach the next generation of leaders in these countries, as well as to enhance the socio-economic position of youth through concrete projects: by youth, for youth. The YPLA will take place over the course of 1,5 years and consists of three intensive masterclasses with a focus on strengthening youth leadership skills, and an action learning phase in which the participating youth will work in teams and apply their newly acquired skills in a project which focuses on enhancing the social and economic position of youth in their countries. The first session will be implemented in October this year. The group of participants will be made up of a diverse and select group of 50 of the most young ambitious and talented Palestinian, South Sudanese and Burundese youth.
The Youth Public Leadership Academy is part of the broader Youth Engagement Programme, a four year programme which aims to enhance the socio-economic position of youth. The organisations involved in this project are SPARK and The Hague Academy for Local Governance (The Netherlands), Pyalara (Occupied Palestinian Territories), Fontaine Isoko (Burundi), Skills and MatMedia (South Sudan).