NPC was seeking suggestions on how to engage with youth for its upcoming project, Empowering and Mentoring Youth Volunteers to Engage with Transitional Justice to Promote Reconciliation.
One civil society trainer said engagement should be the focus so that young people could talk to each other as well as discuss issues with resource persons. He said government programmes were also reaching out to youth such as university students using different approaches. He added that it was important to prioritise empathy creation among the youth because they had not actually experienced the horrors of war.
Another trainer said there were new technologies to engage the youth. There was a need to hold the attention of young people who did not understand what had happened because they had not gone through the war. Movies, documentaries and discussions could be used to draw in youth.
One expert said TJ should be taken to the south because the people there were the ones who should be persuaded on the need for reconciliation. If it were not a national effort, it would be divisive, he pointed out. For the process to be meaningful to university students, they had to have credible people they could identify with taking the message to them. Theatre and song could be used to grab their attention.
Another expert said young people should be involved in the process until the end because they could have an objective view. He advised NPC to work with young journalists and bloggers to get the message across. Trust needed to be built between youth and the government, he said.
Two university students who attended the meeting said a better strategy and tools were needed to take TJ to young people. Language was also an issue, they said.