Youth Commission meeting

Published: 28 September 2016 1:17 CET

The Youth Commission is the governing body of the IFRC that is responsible for advising on matters that relate to young people and development of National Society youth sections. Also, It also promotes the implementation of the International Federation Youth Policy and seeks youth opinions worldwide to ensure that these latter are considered at the governance level of our Movement.

The meeting, celebrated from September 11 to September 13, was the first one to be held outside Geneva. This was made possible due to the joint efforts of the Volunteering and Youth Development Unit of the Americas Regional Office, the Costa Rican Red Cross and the Secretariat of the International Federation. Among the main objectives to reunite the members of the Commission in the Americas can be found the possibility for them to observe first hand the reality and the work of the different National Societies and to encourage the exchange of best practices and give feedback between the youth directorates of the NS.

The first day, the Commission participated in a project that involves young people from the Chacarita community, in the Pacific coast, together with members of the Youth Red Cross from Costa Rica and staff from Habitat for Humanity. As part of the activities, they helped painting a piece of art for the social hall of the community. 

Later that day, they engage in outdoor activities with young people from the Costa Rican Red Cross and were welcomed at a reception at the Costa Rican Art Museum. During the reception, the members were able to share with volunteers from across the country and learn about the projects and activities they are working on. The President of the Costa Rican Red Cross, Mr. Glauco Quesada, welcomed them at the Golden Hall in the Museum, along with Mr. Jason Sánchez, National Director of Youth of the Costa Rican Red Cross and the Vice-Minister of Youth, Mr. José Ricardo Sánchez, as a sign of the strong cooperative relationship between the Costa Rican Red Cross and the Costa Rican Government. Then, cultural activities were presented thanks to the Costa Rican Red Cross Youth.

“I call this committee to engage in deeper issues such as the increase of the inclusion of young people, the strengthening of data collection, programs, strategies and actions that allow us to generate more impact in the young community. It is particularly relevant the value of being part of a National Society. In that sense, it is necessary to strengthen regional networks”, said Mr. Quesada. 

At the end of the afternoon, the members of the Youth Commission were invited to the Presidential House of Costa Rica by the Costa Rican acting President, Ms. Ana Helena Chacón, where they share the different point of views on youth development. Ms. Chacón expressed “feeling proud that the country was elected to host the meeting of the IFRC Youth Commission”.

During the following days, the members of the Commission were focused on defining their plan of action for the coming years with the aim of strengthening the youth of the Red Crosses across the world.

Auner García (Nicaragua), member of the Youth Commission, said, “being in touch with the youth volunteers and their projects brings the members of the Youth Commission closer to their realities”. Also, Pearl Li (Australia), stressed the importance of being able to share with the different National Societies in the world, allowing the members to connect and engage with the young people they, as per mandate, are representing. Furthermore, another member of the Commission, Sameh Hattan (Tunisia), said: “I am learning from all of you, I am really appreciating to be out of Geneva to see how things work in other National Societies, specially in the youth departments”.

The IFRC Youth Commission as a whole thanked the warm welcome given by the Costa Rican Red Cross as well as the opportunity to the Federation to have such an enriching experience.