2015 marks the beginning of a new phase for World Education’s Youth on the Move project. Driven by the high rates of migration and school drop-out in Cambodia, the project has shifted focus to fostering the development of student councils at secondary schools. Working with communities and students before they drop out of school, Youth on the Move is applying its proven model of peer-education, youth voice, and life skills to the formal school setting.
This shift has been enthusiastically received by the youth at four secondary schools in migration-prone and underserved areas of Prey Veng province. Nearly 150 youth from four secondary schools have already attended a number of workshops covering issues around youth leadership. Youth on the Move’s focus on empowerment gives the youth an opportunity to decide on and design the activities to be carried out by student councils and clubs, with topics ranging from safe migration to entrepreneurship and gender equity.
Looking ahead, the Youth on the Move team are now working with local education officials and school management to prepare trainings for the student councils on roles and responsibilities, peer education, community development, planning, budgeting, and grant management.
Beginning this month, the students have been taking charge of the project. Student councils have established a number of clubs based on the core Youth the Move content, including peer-education groups with a focus on safe migration, ICT skills, personal safety, health and hygiene; a civic engagement group; a newsletter group; and an entrepreneurship club that will train others about financial literacy and form basic income generation groups.
The Youth on the Move team hopes that giving youth leadership roles and enriched, relevant learning opportunities in the formal education setting will encourage them to stay in school and help alleviate the perception of the irrelevance of secondary education that is common in Cambodia.