RFPJ develops a Youth strategy.
In February 2015, RFPJ and Alert held youth consultative meetings. The first meeting at Karambi Sub County in Kabarole District brought together youth from the three youth wings of OBR, OBB and Toro Kingdom to explore the positive and negative role of youth in violence prevention and peace building in the region. The youth too identified key short-term and long-term needs and interests that peace actors in the region need to pay attention to. Proposed needs and interests at Karambi Sub County were presented to a regional youth meeting that comprised members of the regional youth peace building forum, youth ministers from OBR, OBB and Toro Kingdom and district youth councilors. The regional meeting was also graced by youth leaders from northern Uganda to share ideas with the youth district leaders and cultural youth minister in the Rwenzori region.
During the above two meetings, the following were highlighted by the youth as the violence prevention and peace building concerns.
- Ethnic differences. Political, social and cultural actors in the Rwenzori region are emphasizing difference and ignoring areas of unity among the youth.
- Socialization processes by families and cultural institutions continue to inculcate and rekindle intractable feeling of hate and discord and pass on stereotypes to future regenerations.
- Youth accepting to be misguided and always blaming elders; lack of responsibility on the part of some youth due to poor attitude and limited exposure to diversity and the world outside their political and cultural spaces.
- Constructed mindset among elders and youth characterized by entrenched biases and stereotypes. The mindset is bent towards devaluing others and giving others identity.
- Unemployment and under employment among the youth.
- Peripheral involvement of youth in development programs by government and non-government actors.
- Struggle for resource struggles and productive assets like land.
- Drug abuse and alcoholism.
- HIV/AIDS and health issues among the youth and missing out opportunities like joining police and army.
- Theoretical education system that produces unskilled youth.
- Cultural chauvinism and unwillingness to live and leave others live.
- Negative political propaganda and conscription of the youth into political parties and schemes without direct linkages to their needs and interests
- Presence of few role models to inspire the youth into acts of peace and non-violence.
- Misinterpretation/lack of knowledge on the mandate of political and cultural institutions and failure to link these mandates to their needs and interests.
- Unpackaged youth agenda to inform interventions that seek to further needs and interests of the youth.
- Media infuriating conflict and or “committing the crime of silence.”