NUI Galway Leads UNESCO Study to learn from Youth in Zambia

Friday, 23 October 2009

The UNESCO Child, Youth and Civic Engagement team, based at the Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway, is to partake in an international collaborative research project regarding civic engagement, youth and gender in Zambia. The research project will see NUI Galway partner with the University of Zambia, the Alan Kerins African Projects and the Lifestart Project Mazabuka, Zambia. The aim is to progress a participatory research project to form a holistic picture of civic engagement opportunities provided by communities in rural and urban settings in Zambia. NUI Galway's Sheila McArdle, a Research Fellow, will travel to Zambia at the end of October to undertake fieldwork. Over a seven month period, she will gather the perspectives of young people aged 12-14 years of age, parents and guardians, and representatives of statutory and non-statutory organisations. Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, NUI Galway, said: "Just as we seek ways to support vulnerable children and youth in Irish society, similarly, we have much to learn from youth and girls in particular in urban and rural Zambia – all with a view to their civic engagement, safety and mental wellbeing". This project in Zambia will contribute to the fulfilment of the UNESCO Chair's overall strategy, fitting in under the research strand, but designed to compliment the work of the other three strands, advocacy, teaching and programme development. In addition, the research findings will also be linked into the International Resilience Project, a study that initially worked with 14 communities based in 11 different countries. The International Resilience Project seeks to understand how youth around the world effectively cope with the adversities that they face in life. This knowledge may inform the development of policy to design and create child and family services that are sensitive to cultural difference.
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