Co-designing youth peer health volunteer model in Kiribati

The Kiribati Youth Peer Health Volunteers project team, who are co-designing peer-based youth volunteering in sexual and reproductive health promotion, continue to prioritise engaging community members to learn about their ongoing needs. Based on the insights from previous workshops, the team developed a youth peer health-and-skills volunteer model and set out to gain feedback and explore the conditions required for this idea to be successful.

Program Manager Abitara Tekeke, in partnership with YPEER, kicked off a third round of co-design sessions, attended by 40 participants, including young people, community leaders and representatives from the Australian High Commission. During the two-day workshops, participants embarked on co-shaping the youth peer volunteer model that is perceived as having a high potential in the Kiribati community.

Workshop activities were designed to support understanding among young people and community leaders to address the disconnect between what young people felt they need from their community and what community leaders believe is the role of young people in the community.

Both the community and the Australian High Commission representatives in Kiribati commented that the initiative, which brings youth and elders together, is unique and has strong potential to generate solutions to community identified issues. Various Kiribati organisations have already expressed interest in taking ownership of the model to implement it locally.

The team will now test parts of this health-and-skills based volunteering concept to learn more about its viability and scalability. Additionally, Abitara Tekeke will continue engaging project partners, including YPEER, Agriculture Youth Club, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Women, to strengthen sustainability and the impact of the Kiribati youth peer volunteering model.

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