Building Capacity through Regional Cooperation
Mia Mazer, Media and Communications Intern
Earlier this month, more than twenty young people at Profamilia Dominican Republic participated in a training on how to conduct a social audit in their communities. The workshop was conducted by Rubiela Sanchez and Nathaniel Weaver, staff members of APLAFA, our Member Association in Panama. The workshop took place within the framework of our South-South Initiative, a project that aims to strengthen the capacity of our network of Member Associations through the exchange of information and expertise between partners in the region.
The South-South Initiative is structured around two main strategies: online trainings and technical assistance visits. During the personalized exchange, a delegation or representative from one Member Association travels to another to give or receive training on a specific issue. The South-South Initiative strengthens skills and systems throughout the region and has produced concrete improvements to the quality of services.
The workshop at Profamilia in the Dominican Republic was an opportunity for young people to learn about advocacy, youth participation, intervention strategies, standards, and administrative techniques. As a part of the training activities, they had to lay out a policy map and plan a future strategy. These tools were applied by practicing with documents such as the national Teen Pregnancy Prevention Plan and other local laws.
Profamilia is committed to youth participation and leadership development at all levels of the organization. Young people are involved in the creation, implementation, and evaluation of community programs. They are also active within the organization as educators, youth leaders, coordinators, and members of the Board of Directors. Profamilia coordinators are mostly young people who began as peer educators, a testament to the strength and success of the organization’s youth leadership model.
The impact of the South-South Initiative is realized through tangible results. For example, after an exchange visit to Profamilia Colombia to learn about its youth-friendly services model, Asociación Demográfia Salvadoreña (ADS) in El Salvador increased the number of services it provided to young people by 95% in 2011. Our goal is that the Profamilia-APLAFA exchange will yield equally impressive results.