“Reach your potential” Youth Camp held on Naifaru for future community leaders of Lh. Atoll

As part of Naifaru Juvenile’s Youth Mentorship and Leadership Programme, a project implemented under UNDP Maldives Small Grants Facility (SGF), the Leadership camp was developed with the aim of teaching these young leaders the necessary skills to be able to implement their own projects on their home islands. The participants totaled sixteen youth from the four inhabited islands of Lhaviyani Atoll, and were selected among members of Juvenile’s NGO network for their enthusiasm to make positive changes in their communities. From Hinnavaru there were three participants (two from HINT, one from Hinnavaru Youth Society), from Kurendhoo there were four (two from Xiphius Sports Club, two from SKYS), the Island Council’s Youth Group from Oluvelifushi sent two, and the remaining seven participants were members of volunteers from Naifaru Juvenile’s younger contingent.

The camp was held from the 12th til 13th of April 2013, with participants traveling from their respective islands to converge on the Lh. Naifaru multi-purpose building in the afternoon of the 12th. The purpose of the camp was to build the leadership skills of the participants, to enable them to successfully conduct activities for their peers. With a focus on proposal-writing and organizational skills, the sessions were designed to heighten their awareness of community development projects and the leadership roles they could take through their NGO. Running the session on leadership skills, team building, and community development was Mohamed Nazeef, a leading lecturer at the Development Institute of Bandos Island Resort, and a local governance expert with extensive work on youth projects, who has also been working with LGA (Local Government Authority) running community development related activities, and various UNDP projects over the past few years. Mohamed Hisan, an assistant project officer from Local Government Authority was the facilitator for the Project Management session, where participants learned about the various stages of project development, and how to follow the steps from inception to completion to successfully follow-through with an idea. The participants found themselves engaged in all sorts of practical and group activities over the course of the weekend, which really highlighted the importance of teamwork and communication in community development, and how successful leadership relies on it. By the end of the camp, they were brimming with ideas for their own personal projects, and with their newfound insights into project management, the camp had given them the necessary skills to take these ideas to their home communities and follow-through with a positive peer-led project. Feedback from all participants was positive, and Juvenile is looking forward to seeing the results of the youth projects in the sharing session, where everyone will be reunited to discuss their projects and finalize their reports.

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