African Union Youth Volunteer Corps … a wind of change!
AU-YVC is a continental development program that recruits and works with youth volunteers, to work in all 54 countries across the African Union.
AU-YVC promotes volunteering to deepen the status of young people in Africa as key participants in the delivery of Africa’s human development targets and goals. It brings people together to share skills, knowledge, creativity and learning to build a more integrated Continent and by implication strengthen Africa’s relevance in the globalized world.
The concept is in line with the African Youth Charter as well as the Decision of AU Head of States and Governments in Assembly/AU/Dec.274 (XVI) January 2010, to set up a continental Volunteer initiative.
AU-YVC was officially launched on the 3rd of December 2010 in Abuja, Nigeria, in the presence of H.E. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ministers of Youth from across the AU, high-level AU representatives, Partners and other Volunteer Organizations and Africa’s Youth at large.
Objectives of the AU-YVC
– Engage Africa’s Youth in the Continent’s development through meaningful youth participation by providing Service for their Continent;
– Provide opportunities to Young Africans to serve and gain crucial professional experience, soft skills, social competence, international exposure and leadership skills;
– Promote shared values and Pan-Africanism among the upcoming generation.
The Power of Service
Assisting development: Imagine, a young woman or man volunteering in a community applying her/his skills and knowledge (teaching mathematics and English in a rural high school, or assisting in a local health center) for one year has delivered an average of 2,160 hours of service to the community. It is therefore needless to say the impact an army of youth volunteers can create within a foreseeable time.
For a long time, Inter-African missions have mainly been limited to sending of peace keeping troops to areas risking war or civil unrest. African soldiers have made a tremendous impact in securing peace and security for fellow brothers and sisters in their respective countries. AU-YVC seeks to replicate this momentum to a civilian setting, whereby African Youth can yet once again be deployed to provide their services in assisting development and attaining the common destiny of a prosperous and peaceful continent.
Empowering Youth:Volunteerism is not an easy task and demands qualities of a leader to attain once mission in a foreign country. AU-YVC devotes itself to producing a generation of African leaders, willing to serve their continent and its people, knowledgeable of African dynamics, and courageous to take charge and challenge themselves on a daring adventure of building themselves and their continent through service.
Promoting Pan Africanism: Upon the independence of African Sates, our heroic leaders including Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Jomo Kenyatta, Patrice Lumumba, Haile Selassie I, and Nalson Mandela among others, had one common dream for the continent – A Strong and United Africa! Volunteers travelling to a local community in a country outside of their own would not only be volunteering their service, but also be able to learn and exchange from their host country. This would create a life changing experience and perception returned volunteers would have about other African countries and their continent at large.
Areas of Focus
On the field, AU Youth Volunteers would serve primarily in the following fields:
Health and HIV/ AIDS
Peace and Security
Information and Communications Technology
Business and Youth Entrepreneurship
Agriculture and Environment
Typical Environment of Service
AU-YVC volunteer are deployed strictly in non for profit settings where their impact and contributions can fill the gap for much needed skilled man power. This would typically be:
Rural Community Schools
Hospitals and Health Centers
Post Conflict Setting
Government Offices/ Ministries
How It Works
– Aspiring volunteers who fulfill all requirements should fill out the online application form and upload their CV.
– Organizations wishing to deploy youth volunteers are required to fill out the online request form . Alternatively, organizations can send their request to firstname.lastname@example.org
– Screening: Volunteer Applications and Volunteer Requests would now be screened for completeness through a vigorous and transparent process. Candidates whose application was not convincing, would be eliminated and notified. Volunteers are permitted to reapply a second time.
– Matching: Applications of nominated volunteer candidates are matched with available vacancies according to the criteria specified by the requesting organization.
– Selection: The AU-YVC would send multiple CVs (4-8) of matched volunteers to requesting organization to make final selection.
– Volunteer Training: Prior to their deployment volunteers would be trained for a period of 2 to 3 weeks by the AU-YVC unit to enhance volunteers professional, interpersonal and life skills. The training aims to prepare volunteers for their country of deployment and/or enhance their capacity.
– Deployment: selected volunteers would now sign a tri-partite agreement with their host organization and the AUC which shall guide the terms of deployment.
– Progress Assessment: volunteers are expected to provide regular reports on their activities and address challenges to the AU-YVC unit.