Participation takes time but worthwhile: Youth Voice Project (VSO Thailand, July 2018)

This 7-minute video clip captured key lessons learnt and reflections of youth leaders and community members, who have engaged in Youth Voice: Capacity Building for Community Youth Leaders on Participatory Action Research (PAR). Youth Voice is VSO Thailand’s pilot programme in partnership with Thai Volunteer Service Foundation (TVS). The programme aims to integrate PAR as a tool to amplify youth voices and encourage young people’s agency to participate and address community issues. In October 2017, VSO conducted PAR training to build capacity of 24 community youth leaders from 13 youth groups. After the training, five youth groups had received small grants to conduct PAR in their communities. There were 40 youths and community researchers involved in the research, collaboratively collected data with 164 community members. The collected data included urban poor, farmers, out-of-school children, landless women, young people, etc. In their fieldwork, they applied PAR tools such as community map, FGDs, seasonal calendar, etc. One of key learnings from youth leaders is participation takes time, patience and adaptability, based on context. ‘I once thought participation seems a waste of time, but what I gained is community’s healthful return, that’s worthwhile,’ Witsanu Duangpun, one of youth researcher said. This project has been implemented as a part of Thailand’s signature program: Youth Voice – An equal partnership for development. During 15-17 August 2018, the planning workshop will be co-created together with the youth groups as to strategically move forward the Youth Voice Phase II.

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