Rural youth is strengthened in social and political participation
Young people, as a population group, are excluded from some decision-making spaces. In addition, they are affected by unemployment, precarious work and lack of access to public health, a situation that worsens for youth in rural areas where access to public services, schooling, and others, is more complex. For this reason, it is important that young people strengthen their capacities to participate in territorial governance processes.
For this reason, YPARD Perú organized the "II Workshop for Young Rural Leaders", which aim was to provide information and tools to young people so that they can develop their own projects. The workshop finished last September and had 20 participants (6 men and 14 women) from 12 regions of Peru (Cusco had the largest number of participants).
In the workshop, processes of social and political participation in the territory were discussed, as well as existing tools and spaces around the social and political participation of rural youth, and mechanisms to strengthen the social and political participation of this population group in territorial governance. This, during five work sessions (one per week).
“The main achievement was connecting participants from different regions. Some found common ground with others, talked about their territories and exchanged contacts to share experiences and problems”, explains Eliana Antezana, coordinator of the Incidence sub-area at YPARD Perú.
The participant Ruth Pillco (Agronomy student, Lima), for example, was very interested in learning about the problems of her colleagues from the countryside, thinking about a student network to support each other.
“I have learned that science and technology are fundamental pillars for the development and economic growth of a country. Therefore, from my position as a student, I suggest that there should be a greater promotion of the scientific participation of young students and researchers in both urban and rural areas in the country”, says Ruth.
Mileidy Melendrez (Cajamarca), a participant from a coffee growing family, referred to the high school dropout rates of children and young people in her community during the pandemic, since they did not have electronic equipment or internet coverage. But, at the same time, she highlighted the effort of many parents for their children to continue with their studies despite the difficulties. In that sense, she proposed the following actions:
“The Government must articulate with voluntary organizations that support rural education; also recruit rural youth leaders to teach respecting the diversity of cultures and languages; and create a psychological department in schools, to provide support to young people, girls and boys" said the young woman.
Reflections of some participants during the workshop
- Carmen Lino (Lima):
The State must bring together young people that want to work and make a change through social networks. It can provide workshops and consultancies in project management for the benefit of our country. For example, in my community we form interdisciplinary groups and carry out activities such as recovery of green areas, organic gardens, and we encourage the proper use of our natural resources.
- Lorenzo Cayllahua (Arequipa):
In this town (Chivay) agricultural production is the livelihood of many families, and if there is no participation of the State and young people, the fields may be left empty. If we stop farming in the fields, we will stop producing food for the towns and cities.
- Meliza Molina (Junín):
Agreements with multiple organizations are needed, because many young people do not participate due to not knowing that these organizations exist.
(...) the public sector should speak the same language as young people because in many rural areas they speak Quechua and Aymara and other languages
(...) The state should subsidize the innovative ideas and desire to work that some young people have.
- Yenifer Alvarado (Puno):
To do trainings to raise awareness among young people, talk to them about how important their participation in associations, institutions, etc., is. To talk to the public sector to make agreements and trainings and include them. These actions would contribute to the future of the country, and to revalue the customs that formerly existed.