Youth as Agents of Behavioural Change (YABC) is the IFRCs flagship initiative on the promotion of a culture of non-violence and peace (CNV+P). Created in 2008, this programme seeks to empower individuals to take up an ethical leadership role in their community.
It does so by triggering a process of self-transformation amongst participants that result in positive and lasting changes of mindsets, attitudes and behaviours, including behaviour designed to generate change in others in harmony with the Fundamental Principles.
“The consistency with which the YABC initiative leverages the Red Cross Red Crescent Fundamental Principles and humanitarian values to deliver transformational changes of attitude and behaviour, cross-culturally and on a global scale, in an extremely short period and sustained over a long time, makes it an outstanding model of best practice in peer education internationally and a worthy benchmark for behaviour change interventions inside and outside the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.”
Extract from the YABC Impact Study Report 2008-2013
YABC is about changing minds by touching hearts. It is rooted in a participant-centred, experiential learning approach, and relies on a non-cognitive methodology, meaning that feelings, experience, or the physical body, rather than intellectual analysis, are the entry points for learning. Participants are introduced to thematic issues or foster personal skills through games, role-plays, simulation and visualization exercises, storytelling, artistic platforms and 'internal arts'.
YABC also uses peer education to move learners out of their comfort zone while, at the same time, creating a safe and respectful environment where they are not told what to think or do but where solutions are explored together. Learning comes from within and exchange with peers, at a level of equality and trust, so that individuals develop their own position and commitment through critical reflection.
At individual level: The process of self-transformation in trainers and peer educators that YABC triggers consistently results not only in changes in motivation, identity, vocabulary and attitudes but also in positive behavioural changes. Such changes in orientation and behavioural strategies and skills have a domino effect which affects and frequently improves their peer and professional relationships as well as, even more significantly, the dynamics of their family unit as a whole.
At organizational level: YABC has been integrated in numerous existing programmatic areas of the Red Cross Red Crescent work, such as first aid, disaster management, migration, shelter, road safety, psychosocial support, etc. and has also been used by trained peer educators in emergency operations. It thereby further strengthens not only what we do, but also how we do it.
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