Share resources on engaging youth in nonviolent activism

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Share resources on engaging youth in nonviolent activism

Share articles, videos, toolkits, guides, case studies – anything that you think would be helpful for someone interested in learning more about engaging youth in nonviolent activism.

Share these resources by adding comments below!

How to start a non violent movement in your community

This video has always been inspirational to me. it is fun to watch and short and has invaluable lessons for anyone wishing to start a non-violent movement

New Profile's exhibit - Making Militarism Visible

Dear Friends,

I would like to share with you New Profile's exhibit Making Militarism Visible. The exhibit was originally created in2001 as a portable standing exhibit, as part of our presentation in the first ever international conference on Militarism and Education which took place at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at the Kibbutz Teachers' Seminar in Tel Aviv. New Profile was third party to the organizing. The exhibit was upgraded in 2008, in Hebrew only, and continues to be an important tool in creating discussion regarding what is militarization  and how is Israel a militarized society. The digital version, was created for international audiences in order so that whoever sees it will hopefully gain insight on how we perpetuate war and occupation.

Please feel free to send me your comments and to also share this with others.

All the best

resources for nonviolent action

Dear all,

I would like to mention some of the resources that War Resisters' International (WRI) has available. In 2009 WRI published a Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns, which has now been translated into several languages, most of them available on the web. The handbook incoporates the experience of what has worked for activists in different contexts, some of the stories in the handbook were written by young activists themselves. It includes several tools and exercises to help groups in their work plus several sections on different aspects of nonviolent action. The handbook has been translated by young activists who found this a useful resource. We are now in the process of revising the content to come with an updated version, so we very much welcome suggestions on how we can make this resource a better one.

A second resource is a special issue of our newsletter The Broken Rifle, focusing on theme of countering the militarisation of youth. This issue was written mostly by young people sharing their experiences of how to counter the presence of military in schools, universities and the many other ways that the military tries to attrack youth.  This year WRI organised a conference on countering the militarisation of youth and we hope to publish a small booklet coming out from the conference.

I think videos are really important as they are really good to get your attention.  Last month I visited South Korea, where activists are resisting the construction of a naval base on the island of Jeju. For them music and dancing is a key aspect of their resistance and I would like to share an excellent video making their own version of the popular hit  Gangman Style, this one is called Gangjeong (name of the village resisting the base) Style - enjoy!

Javier Garate

Twitter @javitejavier





shadow Council give voice to youth

Hi all, 

I wanted to share the following article that I read the other day. 

‘Shadow councils’ give voice to Palestinian youth'

Some interesting things I wanted to highlight from the article: 

" The organization, based in the West Bank capital of Ramallah, found in a 2011 survey of over 1,000 West Bank youth that 62 percent of Palestinian youth don’t trust in any existing political party. But Sharek didn’t stop at releasing the statistics; in 2009 it also created a network of “shadow councils” in communities across the West Bank to help young Palestinians create an alternative for themselves." 

" In the village of Beit Fajjar, the municipal council decided to cut off electricity to several families’ homes due to late payment. Members of the city’s youth council, however, had a different idea about how to solve the problem. They demanded that they be put in charge of collecting the electricity bills in order to give families a chance to pay before their power is cut. The youth council held a candlelight vigil outside the mayor’s house, effectively shaming him into ordering the power turned back on. Shweiki said the youth council has been in charge of collecting the electricity fees since then, and no one’s power has been turned off." 

" Coordination with local government has allowed one youth council member in particular to attract the attention of the international press. Sixteen-year-old Bashaer Othman, now widely known as “the world’s youngest mayor,” served as mayor of the town of Illar for two months during her summer break from school. Othman said that, although she served as mayor with the consent of the town’s municipal council, she took a very different approach to governing from that usually seen in Illar.

Most Palestinian youth are not interested in voting for one party or another during elections, but she was able to increase young people’s interest in the youth council by implementing social programs. For example, Othman partnered with local businesses to create an internship program for recent college graduates, which she says reduced unemployment in Illar.

Othman’s appointment as mayor challenged other aspects of traditional Palestinian society as well."

Greetings Jose


Respecting the voice of youth

Dear Jose, 

Thank you for sharing this story, I didn't know about the youngest mayor in Illar and I would love to hear more about it. I often see here in Palestine that many youth feel that no one listens to them, that they don't have any voice, and that they can never make a change because no one cares about them. And besides the huge problems created by the ongoing occupation, youth also have to deal with their personal problems, including poverty. This brings me to another question: Especially young men often suffer from the pressure of their family to make money to support the familly. Although these men may be willing to participate in nonviolent activism, supporting their families is often a priority. Sometimes activism is seen as a 'luxury' for people that have enough time and money to allow them to participate. How do others deal with this issue?

This is so interesting,

This is so interesting, thanks a lot Jose!

activism - luxury

Fabienne van Eck wrote:

Sometimes activism is seen as a 'luxury' for people that have enough time and money to allow them to participate. How do others deal with this issue?

Hi Fabienne, 

Yes indeed, this is being mentioned a lot and it's a relevant and existing challenge. One issue to deal with it is to provide a daily stipend for participants joining a training, and/ or cover travel costs. One challenge emerging as a result of this however is that some people might participate since it's a way to " earn some money".

In the trainings the WPP has provided, we have never provided stipends. However, what we did do was requesting the participants to see how they could integrate the training content in their daily work, and provide financial support for the implementation of one follow up training, based on the training the WPP provided. It has proven that many were able to integrate the training content in their own work (e.g. gender mainstreaming their work), and continue providing support during this process. But of course this only is possible if the activist is involved in an NGO already.

Greetings Jose 

Human Rights Education

Arguably Human Rights Education (HRE) and Non-Violent Youth Activism share many values, so here a tip on a useful and inspirational HRE resource: - a movie in several UN languages with examples of the empowering effect HRE can have - and I think it is this kind of empowerment that also is needed for youth to become non-violent activists!

Using Tex messaging to rally youth around combating torture

In the age of smartphones and ever fast telecomunication, many youth are increasingly embrasing mobile technologies, both for profit and non-proft organizations are always looking for new ways to get their messages to these youth via short messaging services. Amnesty International-Netherlands has recognized the power and potential of new text-messaging technology (SMS). The organization has used it to attract new members (especially young people), to build awareness of the campaign against torture and to encourage people to respond quickly to urgent action appeals. About 520 new members joined as a direct result of the SMS campaign and over 5,000 more responded to the SMS urgent action appeals.

Internet Security

Hi all, 

in another thread, I posted some resources related to internet security. I wanted to post them here also. 

Access, released a guide on maintaining online and mobile phone security, with versions in Arabic and English.The Access guide provides tips for keeping communications safer in such a climate. It recommends Gmail, for example, because it uses a secure connection by default, known as HTTPS, like at banking Web sites; Hotmail provides HTTPS as an option, and Facebook began offering it in January. The guide also explains how to disguise browsing histories and how to gain access to banned sites.

Access has only written an excellent policy document on the major cyber threats facing civil society. Worthwhile a read also. has published a report on how to organize on Facebook securely. 

Another one I wanted to share is the how-to guides, which identify best practices for the use of digital technologies for social change.

Greetings Jose

Encrypted email

Hi José,

Thanks for sharing the issue of internet security. I would like to share a WRI resource on how to use encrypted email, which is a very good tool for secure communication. We use this regularly in WRI especially related to planning an action, but what's important is to use it as frequent as possible, if not it can be be quite revealing that every time you start using encryption is because your are "planning something"

Here is the link to a manual on how to use email encryption:




so useful!

Thank you José, these resources are incredibly useful!


Hi, everyone! For thos of you

Hi, everyone!

For thos of you who speak French, the following resource might be useful: Faire participer les jeunes au changement social :définir un nouvel horizon 

Also, this report by Save the Children Norway talks about the role of youth and children in peacebuilding processes, as it provides some very interesting case studies and focuses on the different ways and activites through which youth and children can play an active role in these processes. 



free manuals

Thank you for sharing!

I would like to add the following link of manuals for life skills facilitators traning for youth (In Arabic, English, Spanish and French):

and a human rights education toolkit for children:

and a guide to empower youth as active citizens:


Very helpful! Thanks a lot!

Training on non-violence

Our organisation Center for Conflict Resolution (CECORE) organised a training of young political leaders on non violence with support from the A.J.Muste Memorial Imnstitute of which i would like to share.

Background information
The training was conducted on Non Violence and Governance for Political parties and selected members from other institutions in Uganda. The training was conducted by CECORE for a day from 26th April 2012 at Grand Imperial Hotel, Kampala - Uganda
The objective of the training was to equip the political parties and other concerned stakeholders with skills in non violence. With the skills acquired, participants will be expected to develop action plans for enhancing positive non violence mechanisms in handling conflicts within their setting. From the February 2011 general elections, it was evident that most of the parties failed to resolve conflicts both within their parties and even with others. The trend indicates an increase in violence. Some of the recent political violent manifestations include the “Walk to Work” demonstrations to campaign against the increasing fuel and food prices, during which a number of people were killed and a lot of property was destroyed. Other violence manifested in other districts like Sembabule (Central Uganda) during the National Resistance Movement (ruling party) internal elections. The recent nullifications of elections for some members of parliament from the February 2011 elections is another potential for violence. The violence is largely due to intolerance and the preference to forceful as opposed to peaceful means of resolving differences.

Participants mentioned their expectations as:
- Appreciation that talking to each other is vital and that dialogue is the way; Appreciate each other as people with different views and not a war situation
- Find a way of solving problems
- Expected top policy makers from parties (especially from the NRM-ruling party) to be here because dialogue has not been helpful so far
- Dialogue on not using young people as tools to violence. We should use this opportunity to reach to a compromise. Youth should instead be involved as decision makers
- Expecting police representatives at the dialogue – we need to hear from them
- Learn how to remain non-violent amidst a dictator that has invested in violence
- A lot of learning

 Non-Violence Experiences: Is it Practical?
Non-violence methods are critical and should thus be embraced by everyone. All actors, including the state, must be seen as appreciative of non-violent actions geared towards realizing commendable policy and political change.

The experience of Uganda shows that the opposition strategizes with the use of non-violent means in an attempt to address the challenges of Uganda. The good intentions are however met with hostility from the police who are seen as partisan, and therefore seen as taking orders from top officials of the ruling political party.
There is a portrayal of non-violent activists as not peaceful but as people with a motive behind their action and are thus handled as spoilers of peace.

The youth are being viewed as being used as tools of violence in a situation where many of them are unemployed. Instead of being used appropriately to discuss issues of national interest, they are usually seen at the forefront of all violent incidences with claims that some of them are being paid to cause chaos during planned protests/demonstrations.
As a result, many young people have ended up in prisons – leaving the future of this majority population in jeopardy.

Non-violence has been seen to work in some incidences e.g. Women for Peace activists … towards the 2011 Presidential elections.

Non-violence needs to be given a chance because we have seen violence before and we do not celebrate it. It is a strategy that needs to be used and can be successful with mutual respect

.Food for Thought: Issues for Consideration in Non-Violence
The Ugandan situation shows that civil and political rights are triggering more violence and yet there is more concentration on social and economic rights. There is need to pay close attention to certain causes that are likely to trigger violence than others.

There seems to be a general misunderstanding among Ugandans of their responsibilities in a multi-party system as there was no civic education carried out…

The principle of non-violence needs to be instilled in everyone, starting with the environment in which one grows. It is common knowledge that in the home, families that practice non-violence are happier.

There have been several attempts for political parties to dialogue. However, those that have taken place have not achieved their purpose considering that most of the resolutions are not implemented.

Non-Violent Action in Uganda: What is the Way Forward?
This session, meant to put into perspective the Ugandan situation, started with a game centered on power grab. The game involved groups of three people, each making sure to get as large a piece as possible of one piece of paper.
A need to shift our minds from active militancy in pursuit of passive violence was key message from this game. “Violence Breeds Violence” Non-violence is for the strong, not the weak. It is what defines strength that is not destructive.

It is evident that the dominant factor in our governance is money and wealth. Would we get the best breed of leaders in a regime change? In Non-violence, we must crave leadership that puts the interests of others ahead of our own interests.

The philosophy of non-violence is part and parcel of our humanity. There is need to value human life and this includes viewing people seen as perpetuators of violence as needing love too. Many of them are traumatized, considering what they go through in their daily work with no avenues to vent their grievances. The system in which they work is one in which they have to take instructions. It is therefore up to cool headed and civil people to bring change.
Academia and civil society have not been of much help here unfortunately. It is up to the parties to sit and dialogue..

Often time, self censorship in the media is not practiced and yet has a cost to human life. The media are active players in fueling conflict and should therefore be brought to our side in advocacy for non-violence.

Dialogue as a Non-violent Method
Dialogue as a way to address some of the challenges being faced promotes the appreciation of each other’s strengths and identification of commonalities from which to base our actions.

The training identified areas for possible dialogue as:
1. Reforms to be made in the electoral process.
2. Demonstration: How to effectively manage them ensuring that the rights of other people, not party to the demonstration, are not violated
3. The use of state resources for political parties
4. The role of security organisations in multi-party dispensation

Political parties need to fundraise within themselves to hold more comprehensive training for their members in conflict resolution and non-violence

In future trainings on non-violence, it is important that persons that influence the policies in this country be part of the proceedings in-person e.g. the Inspector General of Police (IGP), First Lady, Secretary General of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) – Ruling party.

There is need for a country wide civic education drive for all to comprehend their role in a multi-party dispensation.

For a complete version of the report (PDF)-please email me

Video for Change Curriculum - WITNESS

I wanted to share an excellent resource in harnessing video for activism: the WITNESS.ORG  Video for Change Curriculum. I have used elements of this curriculum with my students who produce videos after a 5-day workshop in Citizen Media for Human Rights and Social Change.  They interesting modules including: Introduction to Video Advocacy, VIdeo Production and Filming, Post Production and Editing, Story Telling for Change, How to Distribute Your Video, and Safety and Security.


As their website explains: 

"This curriculum contains 7 modules and 37 individual sessions which cover both advocacy strategy and hands-on video production. Though originally designed for an eight to ten-day training, we encourage you to explore the sessions that interest you, download the materials and tailor the curriculum for your individual use.


Included in each session:

  • Downloadable Facilitator Notes, Participant Notes, Reference Sheets and Worksheets (PDF & .doc);
  • Embedded PowerPoints so you can see the key points and structure of the session;
  • Valuable resources, case studies and suggested exercises for facilitators;
  • Descriptions of session objectives, worksheets and hands-on exercises for participants;
  • Suggested duration and layout of each session and activity (Note: The time and layout of the session may vary on the number of participants)."

This resource can be excellent whether you are working at an NGO that wants to get its message out using effective videos, if you're a school teacher, a community organizer, or really any profession that might benefit from video advocacy. Please feel free to add other useful resources in video or new media organizing to this thread. Thanks!

9 Tips on Reaching Youth

How to engage youth? The Intertactica blog, here on this site, has provided 9 handy tips, including this one: 

9. Renew leadership. At the end of the day, it’s not about tactics, tricks or gimmicks. It’s about being real. Genuine rejuvenation means genuine change in who is the face of your organization. Seek out new talents and potential. Leave room for the new. Trust younger activists to hold real positions of leadership within your organization. Now that’s meaningful change!

Read the other 8 tips (et ici, en français).

Have another great, youthful, action-filled day!

Tunisian Youth Organizing to fight drug abuse

Hi all

I wanted to share this article on how Tunisian youth organized to fight drug abuse written by a young Tunisian woman, and member of the Youth Leaders Council of Zaghouan. 

Greetings Jose

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