We aim to explore and promote the role of youth in peacebuilding efforts by:
EXPANDING THE EVIDENCE BASE (GATHERING AND SHARING FIELD AND ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE) TO DEMONSTRATE THE COMPLEMENTARY NATURE OF POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT (PYD) AND PEACEBUILDING EFFORTS;
DISSEMINATING ACTIONABLE LEARNING FOR IMPLEMENTERS AND POLICY MAKERS TO INCORPORATE PYD INTO THEIR PROGRAMS TARGETING VIOLENCE OR CONFLICT-AFFECTED YOUTH POPULATIONS.
Our membership includes youth development practitioners, researchers, consultants and youth-serving or youth-led organizations dedicated to ensuring meaningful youth engagement in programming globally.
We welcome any members interested in keeping up with youth engagement efforts in areas such as: peacebuilding; unaccompanied minors; sex trafficking; democracy, human rights, and governance; and youth leadership.
Facilitate CoP members’ exchange of knowledge, experiences, and ideas to build a better understanding of which Positive Youth Development (PYD) programs are effective in violence or conflict-affected environments.
Contribute to the PYD indicator development and identify PYD indicators that can be used effectively in these environments.
Identify resilience factors that help youth-led or youth-serving organizations to successfully survive and thrive in these environments.
How Members Can Engage and Contribute
- Joining the webinars and conference calls
- Commenting on draft papers and approaches
- Contributing relevant resources to the YP website, blogs, case studies
- Participating in a working group that is focused on a specific sub-topic or deliverable
- Joining and shaping a new working group on PYD for Youth in Central America which is focusing on the ways in which PYD approaches can be applied in these countries, what specific challenges PYD approaches encounter in these countries, and how youth voices can be included when developing these approaches.
Gilbert Mwenedata, Independent Consultant
Gilbert Mwenedata is a Conflict and Youth Expert dedicated to helping young people develop leadership qualities and find a better transitional pathway to adulthood. He possesses more than 13 years of professional experience in developing strategic public-private partnerships and developing youth activities across various sectors. He has worked with World Vision and USAID in various countries on programs focused on equipping youth with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. He is fluent in both English and French, and he is highly effective in cross-cultural environments.
Maria Brindlmayer, Senior KM Specialist, YouthPower Learning at Making Cents International
Maria serves as Senior Knowledge Management (KM) Specialist for YouthPower Learning. In this capacity, she leads the online learning hub, communities of practice, and grants components, in addition to co-leading the Youth in Peace and Security CoP. Since 2013, she has also served on the Secretariat for the Building Evidence in Education (BE2) donor working group.
Omitogun Abolaji, Knowledge Management and Communications Atlas Corps Fellow, YouthPower Learning/YouthLead, Making Cents International
Abolaji is a social and business entrepreneurship enthusiast vested and passionate about youth development and empowerment. He is focused on fighting poverty and economic hardship through knowledge, skills sharing, and capacity development mechanisms. Abolaji has 5 years' experience working with startups and small businesses in Africa.
Luis A. Viguria, Chief Executive Officer at Young Americas Business Trust/OAS
Luis has been a leader and advocate for youth for many years, with a special focus on Latin America. Since joining Young Americas Business Trust/OAS over 10 years ago, he has worked in cooperation with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) to promote social and economic development among young people and launched many initiatives that support young entrepreneurs.Luis was born and raised in Peru and graduated in Social Sciences with a minor in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, and graduated from the Global Master of Arts Program in International Relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University. Luis is also the leader of the new Working Group PYD for Youth in Central America.
Valerie Lorena, Executive Director at Young Americas Business Trust/OAS
Valerie Lorena's work has focused on peace and conflict, gender, youth, orphans and vulnerable children (including girls and people with disabilities). She has been an active spokesperson for the concerns of the younger strata and has expertise in youth entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation involving multiple sectors and international stakeholders in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Dr. Jen Heeg, Independent Consultant
Jen's background spans academia, policy, and implementation. She is a specialist in the fields of peacebuilding, community strengthening, youth engagement, and countering violent extremism. She has over 14 years’ professional experience in the United States and overseas, especially in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Valerie Haugen, independent contractor for Making Cents International
Valerie is an independent consultant with 30 years of experience in a variety of sectors and in developing countries worldwide, particularly those affected by conflict and crisis and fragility. Valerie has a doctoral degree in international development and peace and conflict studies and developed the USAID Checklist for Conflict Sensitivity in Education Programming.