Youth for Change: Building Peace in Rwandan Communities Program (Y4C)
The Youth for Change: Building Peace in Rwandan Communities (Y4C) Program empowers Rwandan youth from diverse backgrounds to lead their communities in designing and implementing small grant projects that bring tangible benefits and provide opportunities for communities to work together.
The program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (USAID/CMM).
The project seeks to change attitudes among Rwandan youth and their communities and promote opportunities for positive interaction among people of different backgrounds that lead to a preference for peaceful solutions to conflict through:
• Mobilizing youth leaders as catalysts for change in their communities
• Developing a culture of peace through community projects
• Sustaining peace building through exposure to successful examples of community partnerships
Sixteen years after Rwanda was torn apart by genocide, the country is emerging as a regional leader in development and economic growth but still faces complex problems. Rwanda’s population is overwhelmingly young, with 67 percent under the age of 26. These young people – with their energy, spirit, and willingness to embrace change – represent the greatest potential for sustainable progress toward peace. Unlike many other conflicts, the tensions in Rwanda exist within its communities. People of various backgrounds live side by side, shop at the same markets, and attend the same schools, creating opportunities for positive interaction and mutual understanding.
• 100 youth from diverse backgrounds participate in leadership training and share positive experiences interacting with peers from other backgrounds with their communities
• Youth leaders lead communities in designing and implementing small grant projects to address common problems.
• Youth leaders share experiences, successful strategies, and lessons learned with peers