Oxfam International Youth Partnership program is a global network of young people who share a vision of a just world and are committed to working for peaceful, equitable and sustainable social change within their communities.
Throughout the three year cycle, the OIYP program focus’ on building skills and knowledge, supporting action and facilitating networking. In addition to networks amongst Action Partners, members of OIYP are given opportunities to network and form partnerships with many other organisations and communities around the world to support them in their work.
The first year of the OIYP cycle introduces selected members to the network and focus’ on supporting Action Partners to identify the support they need and the strengths they bring to realise their plans to contribute to positive change in their communities and regions.
New members of the OIYP network are invited to come together at an 8 day forum to launch this first year of the OIYP cycle. This event is called Kaleidoscope, meaning ‘a complex pattern of continuously changing sequence of bright and interesting visions’.
During Kaleidoscope, 300 Action Partners live, learn and work together to deepen relationships, share values and enhance mutual understanding across economic, cultural, thematic and geographic boundaries. Formal and informal workshops and discussions bring about ideas for creating positive futures in communities.
The second and third year of the OIYP program are focused on learning and action support. These include E Workshops (online forums), Grants Program, Face to Face Workshops, program support, skill shares, cultural exchanges and more.
Throughout the 3 years Action Partners continue to support, challenge and inspire one another in the implementation of their vision of change through face to face, online and other initiatives driven by the members themselves, and supported by Oxfam.
The aim of the program is to build the capacity of the Action Partners as facilitators of change. Through the OIYP Program, Oxfam creates opportunities for dialogue, learning and challenging for its partners around the world. Over time, personal change in Action Partners will translate into social, economic and political change within individual communities, in regions and across the globe.
Many Action Partners are working in partnership with their own communities. Many are agitating for change institutionally. All are likely to be challenging existing structures that create inequality in their communities, countries and regions. The majority of young people in the network are working in their own communities in the Global South. OIYP has a focus on young people from marginalised communities but includes diverse young people working in different ways to achieve change.
Across Generations and Organisations
While from 2010 the focus of Oxfam’s work is on the new 300 young people, Oxfam actively works to build partnerships across the generations of Action Partners. Action Partners from previous cycles work with new Action Partners in a ‘Mentor and Motivator’ role.
In addition to Action Partners themselves, members of the OIYP network work in partnerships with many other organisations and communities around the world – creating a powerful force for change.
Check out where the 300 Action Partners from the 2010-2013 cycle are from in the world map below!
Some examples of activities in the OIYP network include:
Gender Learning Group: Two young women from Papua New Guinea wrote to others in the OIYP network asking them to create a ‘gender learning group’ to exchange their stories and resources on gender through postal mail. This group has discussed and share experiences on gender issues over a year. For many, gender is now a major aspect of their work in their communities. A young woman from Mexico worked with mothers of disappeared and murdered women to achieve justice.
Project Management Skills: OIYP facilitates online and distance education around key skills like project management. Through online discussions participants share their experiences and gain new skills on project planning, project implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation.
Cultural Immersion: Action Partners participated in the “Yana Poorpa Minot Meng” cultural immersion program in Israel and Palestine. Participants had the opportunity to discover the people, the culture and the importance of connection to land. They also experienced the diversities and beauty of the people and life that exists in the Holy Land. At the same time it was a program that allowed them to reflect and consider their own communities and individual experiences.
Oxfam encourages partnerships across the generations of Action Partners and many Action Partners go on to take up leadership roles, within their communities, their countries and within the OIYP network.
Oxfam International Youth Partnerships
PO Box 1711
Sydney NSW 2012