Programme Name: ALLY (Amplifying Leadership of Local Youth in Preventing Violent Extremism in South Asia)
Cohort Size: Fellows (60): 15 each from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
Organisations involved: ALLY is funded by the European Union and implemented in a consortium of partners, including The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers/ Finn Church Aid, United Network of Young Peacebuilders, Rural Development Society (India), Centre for Communication and Development of Bangladesh (Bangladesh), Youth Development Foundation (Pakistan) and Sri Lanka Unites (Sri Lanka).
Purpose: Attend a multi-phased regional capacity development programme and contribute as a multiplier to transform the conflicts and address factors of violence and preventing violent extremism in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and regionally in South Asia.
Location: Attend a multi-phased regional capacity development programme and contribute as a multiplier to transform the conflicts and address factors of violence and preventing violent extremism in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and regionally in South Asia.
Duration: May 2021 to June 2022 (5-6 hours every week so approximately 35-40 days in total)
The European Union-funded project Amplifying Leadership of Local Youth in Preventing Violent Extremism in South Asia (ALLY) is organising a Fellowship Programme for 60 youth (15 from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan each). These youth will be trained as a multiplier on conflict transformation, advocacy, training facilitation and online constructive campaigning through a multi-phased capacity development programme (an online workshop, one in-person national workshop and one in-person regional workshop). Acting upon the positive roles of youth-led civic engagement related to peacebuilding, the fellows are expected to deepen their knowledge, skills and attitudes to contribute to transforming the conflicts and address factors of violence and preventing violent extremism in the four countries and regionally. The project will develop their capacities to engage diverse stakeholders including other youth, decision-makers, religious actors and the media in positive and nonviolent approaches to promote a culture of peace and constructive narratives on diversity and work with communities in order to prevent violent extremism. The fellowship supports youth action as it does not only provide theoretical tools, resources and guidance but provides accompanying support throughout as youth design and implement action at local, national, and regional levels.
The ALLY project is a youth-sensitive initiative, focused on amplifying the youth voices and actions in addressing diverse factors of violence and Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan. The project aims at increasing knowledge of the push and pull factors, enhancing the multidimensional capacity of youth leaders and their strategies, and strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships to prevent violent extremism in South Asia. The project primarily targets youth as agency-holders and strategic allies to media and decision-makers, to increase outreach for youth-led initiatives and constructive narratives that value the religious, ethnic and cultural diversity of the region. The project contributes to filling the gap of context-specific resources and collaborative regional actions on PVE in South Asia, strengthening not only regional but also national level networks and youth movements.
About the Role
The ALLY Fellows will:
- Participate in the 3 workshops (4 weeks online workshop in May 2021, one 3-4 days in-person national workshop in Jun-Jul 2021 and one 6 days in-person regional workshop planned to take place in Sri Lanka/Nepal/Bangkok in Nov 2021 – Feb 2022, if COVID situation allows)
- Design, develop and implement small joint initiatives (3-10 months) to transform the conflicts and address factors of violence and preventing violent extremism in the four countries and regionally.
- Raise awareness, mobilize the community and engage with diverse stakeholders including other youth, decision-makers, religious actors and the media to promote a culture of peace and constructive narratives on diversity.
- Create an early warning working group of youth activists against violent extremist narratives
- Participate in regional advocacy missions and platforms to advocate for designing and implementing youth sensitive and youth inclusive policy frameworks, strategies and action plan to transform the conflicts and address factors of violence and preventing violent extremism.
- Disseminate project results and insight with different stakeholders
Costs and Support
The fellows will participate in the three workshops free of charge. Further, expenses related to the accommodation, travel and catering, in a moderate range, related to the two in-person workshops will be covered by the project. The in-country partner will reimburse fellows’ small follow up joint initiatives’ implementation costs to some extent.
Profile of ALLY Fellows:
- Motivation to learn, design and implement relevant peacebuilding initiatives and engage with policymakers and community leaders.
- Prior experience to work on peacebuilding/PVE with youth and/or in interfaith engagements or rights-based action or development initiatives across religious denominations/communities.
- Ability to reach and mobilize other young people in peacebuilding and PVE spaces, especially in hard to reach areas and areas affected by multiple forms of violence.
- Strong communication skills, including with diverse groups such as policymakers, media professionals and religious leaders.
- Demonstrate experience in promoting peace at the community level. For example as a current staff member or a volunteer in a youth-led peace organization or group. We also encourage young artists, media experts, interfaith youth and youth working in policy-making to apply.
- Aged preferably between 18 and 30 – due to the nature of the project youth will be given a priority.
- Feels comfortable using English as the main language for the project.
- Access to a stable internet connection and ability to use online platforms, such as Google Drive and Zoom.
- Availability to commit to the entire fellowship programme over 13 months (May 2021 to 30 Jun 2022) and is in the possession of a passport for international travel.
The applications will be evaluated based on a set of criteria in line with the above profile description. The main categories for evaluation include: experience, background, motivation, capacity and skills, and ability/ commitment to act as a multiplier. Kindly note that in the selection of the fellows, the diversity of the group, including gender, geography, marginalisation etc. will be paid particular attention to.