Ana Rizescu, YouAct Coordinator has been invited to join a meeting organized by the International Centre: researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking (IC) at the University of Bedfordshire in the UK. The meeting brought together partners from seven different countries in Europe, working with children and young people to develop sexual violence prevention resources, in the framework of the LEAP (Life skills, Leadership and Limitless Potential) project, co-funded by the Rights, equality and citizenship programme of the European Union and Our Voices Too project, funded by the Oak Foundation.

The event served as a platform to share learning, to discuss challenges, ethics and concerns surrounding the participation of young people affected by sexual violence in a participatory project and to explore the possibility of developing and supporting a regional youth network. Our Coordinator shared experience of working with YouAct, as a youth-led network in Europe as well as collaborating with other youth networks in the framework of the Europe and Central Asia Youth Alliance initiative. This has served as a starting point for consideration on how the group might support the young people who are active in influencing practice on preventing and responding to sexual violence to connect and potentially develop their own network.

During the meeting, partners have shared different tools and resource materials that were produced during the LEAP project implementation. “I particularly liked the training resource pack designed by Youth Facilitators at Stichting Alexander from the Netherlands. A particular aspect that resonated with me and our work at YouAct was the one related to the need for comprehensive sexuality education. This was brought-up by the young people themselves, who felt the need to talk about intimacy, consent in order to understand, identify and protect themselves and others from sexual abuse and violence. This shows once again that we must join forces in advocating for access to age-appropriate sexuality education“ says Ana, YouAct Coordinator.

Here are some other materials that were developed by young people, as part of the LEAP project:

  • A film developed by Youth Facilitators and other young people at SECOS, UK
  • An animation developed by SECOS Youth Facilitators, Youth Advisors and the Youth Participation Group, UK
  • A movie clip developed by Youth Facilitators and young people at Pulse, Bulgaria
  • An online journal and other online materials developed by Youth Facilitators and young people at Terre des hommes, Romania

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