Testing parts of the Youth Peer Volunteer Model in Kiribati

We don’t always get things right the first time. Usually, we have to try a few times to make it work. This is what a prototype is – a simple test of a proposed model we can run at low cost and low risk. It’s a way of developing, testing, and improving an idea before inviting wider participation.  

In Kiribati, we developed a youth peer-to-peer volunteering model designed to bring young people with different skills together to share those skills with other young people in the community. We didn’t know how much support the young people would need, so we tested it out by running a prototype.

Last week, volunteers from YPEER joined volunteers from Tungaru Youth Agriculture (TYA) to run an activity with young people from the Angaieta community in Tarawa, Kiribati – in a small, low-cost test run. This activity helped us understand how much support the volunteers might need, what challenges in collaboration there might be for volunteers with different skills, and any further training volunteers may require.

What we learned

  • There were no major barriers to collaboration for the volunteers from YPEER and TYA, although some facilitation from the Youth Officer at YPEER was required to ensure everyone understood the goals of the activity.
  • Volunteers would benefit from having a workshop package or manual to follow, including both topics for the workshop.
  • There is an opportunity for YPEER to adapt their sexual and reproductive health training to go beyond knowledge sharing and focus on attitudes and behavior change.

Now that we are clearer on the support and training volunteers need, we can apply this knowledge to the volunteer program design in preparation for handover to YPEER and any other organisations in Kiribati who have expressed interested in the model.

Read more about peer-based youth volunteering in Kiribati.

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