IYAP adopts a bottom-up and holistic approach, focusing on individual behavioral change among young people and promoting policy and practice changes for youth-led development. Our commitment to democracy and governance is central to our efforts. We aim to create a supportive environment where no young person is left behind. Through our programs, we have successfully reached over 25,000 young people across 18 districts in Sri Lanka, forging partnerships with more than 140 organizations. This collaborative approach ensures that our impact is far-reaching and sustainable.
Our technical expertise
Peer to Peer Education
Our youth-led, peer-to-peer education model serves as the foundation for all our programs. Through this approach, we empower young people to transfer knowledge and skills within their communities, extending beyond schools and training institutions. Peer educators act as catalysts, connecting youth groups with local service providers, government entities, businesses, and civil society organizations. In Sri Lanka, each peer educator reaches out to approximately 150 young people, creating a network of influence that spans remote corners of the country. This model has enabled us to engage marginalized communities, such as those in resettlement camps and fishing villages. By collaborating closely with stakeholders, we enhance their capacity to effectively reach and support young people, fostering sustainable networks beyond the program cycle.
Recognizing the diverse challenges faced by young people, IYAP excels in mobilizing, engaging, and motivating them to drive positive change. Our peer educator model has proven effective in reaching young people from varying backgrounds, including those in remote and rural areas. We have tailored this model to address the specific needs of disadvantaged groups, such as orphans, vulnerable children, people living with HIV, individuals with disabilities, and those affected by conflict. By empowering these marginalized populations, we ensure that no one is left behind in our pursuit of democracy and governance.
Effective youth engagement is a core aspect of our work. We collaborate with institutions and service providers, including health workers, teachers, community liaison officers, and representatives from civil society organizations, to promote inclusive and meaningful participation of young people. We extend our support to international and development agencies, assisting them in enhancing their youth programs and policies. Additionally, we work closely with private and public sector service providers, enabling them to reach young people more effectively.
Convening the Youth Sector
IYAP actively contributes to the Youth, Peace, and Security Sri Lanka Working Group, a dynamic sector forum that convenes bi-monthly, with over 100 individual members. Through our Youth Forum, “Youth Matters,” we bring together young people, activists, youth organizations, clubs, sports clubs, and intergovernmental agencies on a monthly basis. This platform fosters dialogue, strategy-building, and collaborative solutions. Despite limited funding, the Youth Matters program has gathered more than 80 organizations and 2,000 young people over the past two years, amplifying their voices and fostering collective action.
Policy & Practice
At IYAP, we believe in meaningful dialogue and joint decision-making between policy makers and youth. We actively facilitate engagements between these two parties to ensure the needs and perspectives of young people are taken into account. One significant accomplishment is the formulation of the Teachers’ Transfer and Recruitment Policy, jointly advocated by the Open Government Partnership in Sri Lanka and Viluthu Organization. By bridging the gap between policy makers and youth, we contribute to inclusive and responsive governance.
Over the past five years, our integrated youth development programs have made a significant impact, reaching more than 25,000 young people across 18 districts in Sri Lanka. Through social leadership camps, non-violent communication workshops, dialogues for understanding, languages for reconciliation programs, sexual and reproductive health workshops, and civic participation programs, we have witnessed transformative outcomes.
Some key statistics from our programs include:
- A remarkable 64% increase in targeted young people adopting social leadership learnings into their personal lives.
- A substantial 74% increase in youth involvement in volunteerism.
- An encouraging 85% of young people participating in decision-making processes.
- The mobilization of 88 employers from state, private, and non-governmental organizations through our programs.
- These achievements underscore the effectiveness of our approach and the commitment of our partners in creating sustainable change. By leaving no young person behind and embracing a democracy and governance theme in 2023, we solidify our shared vision of empowering youth and shaping a more inclusive society.