Wednesday 10 December 2008

What Does Your Vote Want?

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As people, we need to create the change we want to see. Bother. To engage with the system. To challenge it. To change it.
To make a new one. To start an idea. To vote. You CAN vote.
Even if you don't hail from the city you're living or working in. Even if you don't have address proof. Even if you live in a hostel.

We need accountability. We demand good governance. Not excuses. We need active citizenship.
Where is the active citizen? Where are you?

We need your voice. We need you to care. Because if you don't and if everyone walks away, who will?
Register. Educate yourself about the elections.

Go Vote.



The YP Foundation, a youth non profit organization, supported by Channel V, LiveMint and DelhiEvents.Com, is running a Voter ID Registration Drive where we will help you fill up the Voter's id procurement form and help you with know-how on the submission process.

We're headed to Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Raipur and Kolkata.

We began in Delhi. Visited Hindu College, Hansraj College, Sri Ram College of Commerce, Jesus and Mary College and Gargi College and registered over 1700 people in Delhi alone. Over 812 of these were students. The rest brought together employees, families, rickshaw wallas, auto drivers and young professionals from across the city. And the numbers are still pouring it!

WE'RE STILL HELPING PEOPLE REGISTER! To register, join us or contact us with a passport size photograph and any one of the following documents:

1. Landline phone bill
2. Mobile phone bill
3. Water bill
4. Electricity bill
5. Property tax receipt
6. Bank statement
7. Passport
8. Ration card
9. House lease / rent agreement
10. LPG receipt
11. Driving license
12. Employee ID card

First time voter's have to submit Proof of age -- either COPY OF BIRTH CERTIFICATE / PASSPORT / PAN CARD / DRIVING LICENSE / STATE BOARD EXAM CERTIFICATE.

Students living in a hostel, not having an address proof only require to get a Student Declaration Form signed by your College Dean / Principal / Registrar and bring it with their form.

For Further details contact +91 9999099044 or yp.rti.programme@gmail.com

Please help us spread this message widely!

Recent Updates

COMING UP NEXT - What Does Your Vote Want Travels to Raipur! We are going to be in Raipur, Chhattisgarh on the 3rd and 4th of January. Check the attached poster for locations!

In the News! About our campaign at http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=SportsSectionPage&id=a97ee791-c790-488e-aa56-c53eb2d1f395&MatchID1=4874&TeamID1=1&TeamID2=3&MatchType1=1&SeriesID1=1229&PrimaryID=4874&Headline=Getting+youngsters+to+vote

Upcoming City Dates

Delhi: We’re now targeting offices and marketplaces. Next Dates: 22nd & 23rd January 2009.
Mumbai: We’re going to be there 28,29,30th January 2009.
Kolkata: We’re going to be there end Jan/begining Feb 2009.
Pune: We’re going to be here 1st – 8th February 2009.


Venues, Dates & Timings in each city will be posted soon.

For help with your Voters Id Registration Online – Contact Us at yp.rti.programme@gmail.com or +91 9999099044.


Don’t Wait – GO VOTE!


Monday 8 December 2008

Delhi Climate Leadership Training

The YP Foundation and the Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN) are organising a two-day Delhi Climate Leadership Training on the 19th and 20th of December, 2008 at The American Center, K G Marg.

This is a two-day interactive session on climate change in the context of India, beginning with basic climate science and solutions and moving quickly into brainstorming Delhi-specific solutions, creating action plans for implementation, and media training to communicate successes. The program aims to create a support system for working groups by providing them with expert advice and skills enhancement trainings to kick start, develop and sustain their climate projects and get results.

The Indian Youth Climate Network and The YP Foundation, through this two-day programme aim to generate awareness and empower a generation of young people in Delhi to take effective action against climate change. We are looking forward to bring together a strong group of youth leaders -- leaders who will initiate and lead grassroots climate groups in their work, schools, colleges and communities; leaders who will organize and mobilize people and their climate projects at a local, national and international level; and leaders who will spread the message about the urgency of climate change and the great opportunity for each of us to create, communicate, celebrate and be climate solutions.

The only requirement to participate in this program is passion, belief and a desire in making India a cleaner, more equal, wealthier and more forward thinking nation.

PARTICIPATION:

For participation, you just need suren@iycn.in for the application form.
The last date for sending in forms is Monday, 15th December 2008.
For any queries, please contact +91 9818318359.

Please do forward this to friends who you think would be interested.

Saturday 6 December 2008

Untitled

I choose to write this today, a week into the aftermath of series of horrendous events in Mumbai that claimed hundreds of lives and claimed the sanity of millions, nationwide and worldwide. Why have I written this today? That is a point I will return to shortly.

We are propelled by fear and anger, but this is a fear and anger that I cannot describe in words because it is mingled with an outrage against an injustice- that is not a part of lives otherwise. We all experience pain and loss; discrimination and condemnation; but the prolonged terror attack against our friends, families, people from our communities and if nothing else that we witnessed in Mumbai (mostly on live television), watching the people of our nation suffer- that leaves a mark on us. It rouses us from our otherwise mechanical mindsets. But that’s another problem, even for me, a technical error, a virus; they are quarantined, repaired or forgotten about.

The attacks saw worldwide condemnation. International governments were roused, at least visible in the words they offered.

Many are quick to condemn the candle walks and marches and symbolic displays of solidarity, they are usually people who have been on a candle march. Many of us have heated debates and discussions on the merits and manipulations of the situation, but how many of us carry our convictions even outside the room we challenge others. Not even in those rooms do our lingering voices echo our sincerity.

That is why I have chosen today, because today I am moved to speak. But, how long will these words linger? When will I be moved to say something again and when will I translate these words into something of durable substance? What will I do?

We need to open our eyes to the violence that is taking place worldwide, to the violence in our cities and the acts and crimes of unmentionable injustice in our villages and everywhere in our country, in Kashmir and in Orissa. We face injustices of every kind every single day and everywhere we go. It comes down to looking past the severity of how unfair one situation is in comparison with another, and about the severity of the action we intend to take. We constantly read and hear that the 20th century and the 21st century are possibly the safest times to have lived in, when considering wars, famines and disease. But looking just at 2008, especially as it draws to a rather sober close, it makes one critically look at that statement. The repercussions of climate change, economic recession, mounting poverty, current and impending wars and conflicts, not so sporadic acts of terror and violence- to name a few of our contemporary worldwide problems, to name a few of our intensely localized problems.

So many of us are moved to speak, but what are we going to do?


- Faith Gonsalves.

Friday 28 November 2008

In Conversation with the Transgender Community

This is an event open for students at JMC college only. Please do spread the word!

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Music Basti

Entry is be invitation only. Invites can be picked up at our office or at the venue itself. We hope to see you there!

Monday 17 November 2008

Petroleum - An Puppet Theatre Production

Entry is free. Do join us and spread the word!

Thursday 6 November 2008

Indian Youth Climate Network launches Climate Solutions Road Tour!

A group of the Indian Youth Climate Network are setting off an incredible adventure across 4000 km of India in solar electric Revas (the plug in electric cars) to spread awareness about climate change and profile environmental solutions. They'll be training environmental leaders at college campuses around the country, conducting green business plan competitions, and dancing to a solar powered band. They would absolutely LOVE your help in any way shape or form, including if you are working on climate solutions, have a few hours of time to contribute to organizing events for an amazing cause OR if your company would be interested in supporting a journey like this to receive nationwide publicity on your sustainability platform! Please contact Caroline at caroline@iycn. in or +91 9953424293 for more information!

Tuesday 28 October 2008

The Butterfly Project Film Series 2008

The programme schedule for the festival is available now. Please email yp.butterfly.project@gmail.com for a copy of the same. Hope to see you there!

Saturday 18 October 2008

The Bridge: Understanding Afghanistan Today

CALL FOR ENTRIES
Articles, reports, creative writing, photos and art- work wanted!


Dear All!

Your writing, photographs or art will be featured in the --- edition of The Bridge, a multi-lingual publication in English, Persian and Pushto.

The YP Foundation (TYPF), a young people’s organization based in New Delhi, is conceptualizing a cultural exchange programme on Promoting Peace Building Processes for Afghani and Indian Young People living in New Delhi.

Just take a look at the topics and questions below, and get started!

Even if you’re never written before, give it a shot! We would appreciate new writers and artists joining us!

**********************************
Do the media show the true Afghanistan? Do internationally acclaimed books and films about Afghanistan misrepresent the Afghan people and their culture?

How much do we know about Afghan history and Indo- Afghan relations?

What problems do Afghan students face in Delhi- discrimination, stereotyping, segregation?

Discovering Afghan and Indian culture- Collaboration. What does it mean to YOU?

FAQs

• What's the Deadline? December 15th, 2008
• What's the word limit? Entries for reports/articles/ short stories should be from under 1000 words
• Can I re-post something I've already written? Yes! Previously published work is acceptable
• What if I have other questions? No problem! Write to us at yp.thebridge@gmail.com/ Call 9818453347

Note:

• You can register with our organization, The YP Foundation (send an email to theypfoundation@gmail.com).

• To make sure you receive our updates, please register with us (send an email to theypfoundation@gmail.com), or join us on our Facebook group- The YP Foundation or The Youth Parliament.

Thanks!

Project 19 - Call for Entries!

You can read more about our festival at http://sites.google.com/site/theypfoundationsite!

Sunday 28 September 2008

Wednesday 3 September 2008

Denying Young People the Right to Know

April 2002. The CII hosts a conference on the ‘Social and Ethical Breakdown in India – What shall we the people do?’ a concerned attempt post the Godhra Riots to garner citizen action. A girl of 17 finds herself on a panel in that session. She has been asked to speak on what young people in India feel about the riots. Seems simple enough.

Except it wasn’t. When I tried to comprehend what a generation of young people in India felt about fundamentalist riots in a secular democracy, I didn’t understand much at all. It hit me hard, that despite my privileged educational background, I didn’t have an informed opinion and that although I was articulate; I was completely disconnected.

17 was 6 years ago. Today, I run The Youth Parliament, now known as The YP Foundation. An organization that provides young people with the financial, emotional and infrastructural resources required to develop their own projects that target social, cultural, economic, legal and environmental issues that they are committed to. Since 2002, we have directly supported the work of over 950 young people through over 100 projects.

We work in varied fields, from community initiatives with street and slum children and the transgender community, projects on the performing and visual arts, literary and research projects, workshops, research, government and advocacy work through different issues, countering many stereotypes. The ones that say we don’t do any work because we are an urban or a youth organization, or because we are seemingly elitist.

Popular issues that come to us talk about comprehending Gender, Identity, Health, Sexuality, HIV/AIDS, Substance Abuse and Life Skills. They never fail to throw up this consistent question, seemingly globalized, yet hiding in conventional shadows, behind shame, embarrassment and of late, illegality. And it makes me wonder.

Why is sexuality so problematic?

India’s recent reactions to sexuality are a reason for serious alarm and concern. The banning of Sexuality Education in 11 states across the country in 2007 was a backlash reaction to the NACO endorsed Sex Education Curriculum that was introduced. The complaints in short? Graphic illustrations, explicit text and an inappropriate AEP (Adolescent Education Programme).

After consultations, the curriculum was sent back to NACO. What has returned in the second draft is even more horrifying. This new curriculum sets us back even further with inadequate information, incomprehensive pictorial representation and the ultimate trap of preaching abstinence. Has the PEPFAR policy taught us nothing?

It’s a telling statement when the country’s National AIDS Control Programme is asked to develop the Sexuality Education framework and not Ministries that work with Health or Education. Arguments based on Sexuality Education not being ‘Indian enough’ or ‘corrupting young minds’ are both false and inaccurate, as WHO studies have shown. In a country where 11 million abortions take place annually of which 1-10 % of abortion-seekers in India are adolescents, where there is a huge unmet need for contraception and Child Marriages are still rampant, the need to empower young people is critical. To not do that, because we are tentative, unsure and scared of what others may say and think, is inexcusable.

NACO has recently released its second draft curriculum for public scrutiny. If you check their website, you can give feedback on this document. This needs to go beyond educationalists and medical experts. Where are young people? Where is your voice, telling our government that a tokenistic approach towards Sexuality Education is as damaging as not having one at all? This will only increase fear, myths and stereotypes. This will increase prejudice and discrimination against young people who are sexually active and those who don’t even know if they are.

Speak up. Advocate giving young people complete information that protects them from disease, empowers them to be informed individuals and that teaches them to be respectful to their own needs and desires and to be respectful towards the rights of others as well. This is your chance.

Ishita Chaudhry

Friday 22 August 2008

The YP Foundation's 6th Anniversary Celebrations!

Join us as we celebrate 800 young people's work across the last 6 years, with an aim to increase the profile of the 8 issues we are committed to working with and focusing on over the next two years!


Entry is by invite only. For passes, please collect them at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. Queries: yp.prashantkurup@gmail.com. We hope to see you there!

Monday 11 August 2008

Shop For A Cause!

Shop For A Cause And Support The YP's Work With HIV/AIDS




Wednesday 25 June 2008

Support Our Work!


We request your support to invest in an empowered future by supporting The YP Foundation in its efforts to engage the young people of today in various social initiatives. Our work with young people has grown over the years simply because we have been lucky to have the support of people around the world.

The YP is a not for profit, non political, support and learning organization. Our primary objective is to develop and support innovative ventures by young minds, so as to bridge the existing gap between young people and their environment by creating a platform for their ideas, opinions and talent.

First established informally in July 2002, The YP is an organization created and run by young people; an idea that believes in providing young people with the resources to execute their own initiatives that target social, cultural, economic, legal and environmental issues they are committed to.

In the last 6 years, we have worked in varied fields through unique mediums such as community initiatives, the performing and visual arts, literary and research projects, interactive workshops, policy and government interaction and research and advocacy work amongst others.

In 2006, we were awarded the SMILE fellowship by the NGO Pravah and were awarded the final affiliate Change Looms Award given by The Ashoka Foundation and Pravah. In 2007, we received the Student Citizen Karamveer Puruskaar – the National Award for Social Justice and Action from ICONGO and the Nand and Jeet Khemka Foundation and in 2008, we are one of the winners of the Seen and Heard International Award 2008, an award given to exceptional youth projects around the world by British Telecom and The UK Youth Parliament.

Since 2002, we have supported over 800 young people’s work areas such as Education and Development for Young People in Rural and Urban India, Substance Abuse & the Adolescent (India/South Asia focus), The Performing and Visual Arts, Empowering children from vulnerable backgrounds, Corruption at the Young Citizen’s level, Gender and Sexuality, Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation amongst others.

We write to seek your support in continuing our work with empowering young people with the necessary skills, information and engaging them in shaping a positive future of our society.

Here is how you can do it:

o Donate Rs. 2000/- to the Organization and invest in its infrastructure and support platforms.

o Donate Rs. 5000/- to a community based project and encourage young people to speak out loud.

o Donate Rs. 10000/- to an awareness project that reaches out to young people and creates a platform on issues of global importance.

o Any other amount that you think you can, to any of the areas above!

All projects have a 1-2 year plan and a detailed proposal can be provided on request. You can send across your contributions through cheques favouring “The YP Foundation” (account payee) to the following address:

The YP Foundation
D 344, Defence Colony

New Delhi
– 110024
India
.
Phone: +91 11 41551222
Email: theypfoundation@gmail.com

We will send you monthly / quarterly updates on our work and keep you informed on the utilization of your contributions.

Our projects with young people have received support from multiple people, institutions and organizations, supporting us in varied capacities through donor support and strategic project partnerships. These include organizations like UNICEF, UNODC, The American Centre, the Government of Nagaland, Milkfood, Glaxo Smith Kline, Sanskriti School, Vasant Valley School, The Shri Ram School, Modern School Barakhamba Road, Bluebells International School, NGO Aman Biradiri, Sahara, The Nishit Saran Foundation, Kat Katha, CREA and Kri Foundation amongst others.

We thank you for taking the step to invest in our youth today for a secure future tomorrow.

Yours truly,


Ishita Chaudhry
Managing Trustee & Chief Executive Officer

On behalf of the entire team at
The YP Foundation

Wednesday 4 June 2008

What Makes You Indian?

TRAFFIC Life in association with The YP Foundation

Invites you for an interactive discussion on

"What Makes You Indian?"


If you have ever thought about – What Makes You Indian? – and wish to voice your opinion on the same, come share your thoughts in an interactive discussion with Raghu Dixit (Musician), Gul Panag (Actor), Anurag Batra (Exchange 4 Media), Rajiv Makhni (NDTV) and Rahul Ram (Musician, Indian Ocean).

DATE : 7th June 2008

TIME: 7:30 pm onwards
VENUE: Amaltas Hall, India Habitat Centre.

Please be seated by 7:15 pm.

RSVP:

yp.admin.branch@gmail.com/ 9210861888


Friday 16 May 2008

Delhi Youth Summit on Climate

Inviting young people and young professionals
To

“Come Write the Future”: Delhi Youth Charter on Climate
At
Delhi Youth Summit on Climate
May 2008


Organizer: Indian Youth Climate Network
Sponsor: Lead India
In partnership with: The YP Foundation, Forda, Teen Murti Bhavan & UNESCO

Date : May 28th and 29th 2008
Time : 9:30 am onwards
Venue : Teen Murti Bhavan (Nehru Memorial Museum & Library)
Age Group : 18 – 30 years

Climate change poses the single largest threat to the future of humanity. Scientific reports are now indicating that to slow down the effects of a run-away climate catastrophe, carbon emissions must not exceed 350ppm. In the wake of this threat, nations around the world are grappling for solutions to establishing pathways to low carbon economies to avoid a wave of mass planetary extinction.

Though we may attempt to fix the problems technologically, it is widely acknowledged that real solutions will only come from changes in lifestyle.

Lifestyles are greatly impacted by none other than the planning of cities—the rise of which gave birth to “civilization.” The unsustainable use of local resources has also in the past lead to the collapse of entire city states. Thus to tackle climate change and the challenges it poses to already struggling developing economies, we must address development issues at the city level.

Many cities around the world are already planning vigorously to reduce emissions and adopt efficient use of energy and resources. In the United States alone, nearly 800 cities have pledged to sign the Kyoto Protocol and ensure that emissions from those cities meet the international targets.

Delhi, the seat of power of the world’s largest democracy makes little mention to climate change in its Master Plan 2021.

With the capital very much under construction in its attempt to become a “world class city,” there is much to be done to incorporate mitigation and adaptation to the changing climate now, while there is still time. Young people must have their voices heard to ensure their policy perspectives are incorporated in the plans of the decision makers of the city. The Delhi Youth Summit on Climate aims to bring together the youth of Delhi, to begin the dialog on Delhi’s fate in the wake of climate change. In addition the summit will hammer out a Delhi Youth Charter on Climate: how Delhi can adapt to and mitigate in response to climate change.

We encourage you to join us and be part of the process!

For further information and participation, click the following link.

http://delhigreens.org/dysoc
http://iycn.in/dysoc

Tuesday 13 May 2008

Placing Afghanistan


During its long history, Afghanistan has been a land which has seen various invaders and conquerors in the form of the Mughals, British etc while local entities fought amongst themselves to form their own empires. Since the 1970s, Afghanistan has been ravaged by wars and internal conflicts which started in the form of the soviet invasion of 1979 giving rise to various groups which would later compete with one another for power. The Taliban which came to power in 1995 after a series of governments ruled over the nation for half a decade imposing strict Islamic rule on the Afghan people, which acted as a huge hindrance to the economic, political, cultural and social development of the Afghan society. In more recent times, the US led invasion of Afghanistan had a much more disastrous impact on the development of Afghanistan, despite the downfall of the Taliban regime. The presence of the NATO troops in various provinces of Afghanistan has not gone down well with the fundamentalist groups leading to continuous chaos and anarchy in the country, which has been marked by the resurgence of the Taliban. Such unstable elements have prevented Afghanistan from making headway in any direction and the situation seems to be a lost cause.

At least, this is how the media portrays the situation in Afghanistan to be like; the reality is quite different. The roundtable discussion on Searching For Peace in Afghanistan: Collaborative Possibilities for Youth in Peacebuilding organized by WISCOMP on August 27th at the India International Center was an eye opener in this respect helping in highlighting the ground realities in Afghanistan. The roundtable, which brought together young people from both Afghanistan and India, along with organizations and institutions with considerable expertise in issues relating to conflict transformation, the reconstruction of Afghanistan, peace and security and work with young people in both regions, was envisaged as an important first step to explore the possibilities for collaboration of the youth of India and Afghanistan, examine the impact the youth can have on the peace building process in Afghanistan and above all provide the Afghan youth a platform to express their views and concerns that they envision for themselves and their country.

Contrary to the image promoted in the media, the past four years in Afghanistan have been marked by multifaceted changes. The economy has grown by 8.5%, the FDI has increased substantially, foreign investors are seizing the opportunity to rebuild the country and pouring in money, Afghanistan has been accepted as an observer in WTO and as a result of its strong growth in trade it has become a member of many economic groups such as Shangai Group. On the social front, there has been a substantial increase in the number of children going to school; the number of people having finished high school and registering for college has also seen a remarkable increase; under the Afghan National Solidarity programme efforts have been made to overcome the feelings of regionalism and promote a common national consensus, the average per capita income has increased to 350 $ per person resulting in a slight improvement in the standard of living of the people and health services now cover 80% of the population. Democracy has prevailed in Afghanistan, ever since the downfall of the fundamentalist Taliban regime wherein women are once again allowed to participate in the political process of the country.

However, the youngest democracy in the world suffers from a number of prolonged troubles. The most prominent issue continues to be the security threat which seems to overshadow all the progress which has actually taken place in Afghanistan. As a result of the prevailing insecurity, particularly in the rural areas, many parents are discouraged from sending their children to schools. The curriculum in schools is outdated and the bare necessities in the form of chalk, blackboards and well trained teachers are lacking. The UNESCO has declared the Afghan rural area to be the worst for a girl child to be born as they are treated as ‘guests’ and generally subdued. Despite the economic achievements, there are very few employment opportunities in the rural areas, thereby encouraging the flood of people to poppy cultivation; opium trade accounts for nearly 60% of the Afghan economy and Afghanistan is the world’s largest opium producer.

Despite these drawbacks, all the achievements are commendable given the fact that Afghanistan has been ravaged by war and violence for the last three decades. It is only in the last few years that deliberate efforts have been made towards peace building in Afghanistan. What one must understand is that Afghanistan is in a ‘transitionary phase’ where it would not possible for the peace building agents to completely transform Afghanistan overnight. The transition from an unstable underdeveloped state to a stable well-developed state is going to be a long gradual process for which peace and development have to go hand in hand with each other.

Peace in Afghanistan should mean the peaceful development and reconstruction of the country. The Afghan society has been dominated by various ethnic groups, often at war with one another, since time immemorial and it may not be possible to resolve these conflicts completely. As a result, peace in Afghanistan should be aimed at reducing these conflicts and promoting a national consensus, over and above the strong affinities for their respective regions. This accompanied by protection against the insecurity caused by the fundamentalist groups would help in removing the obstacles before development.

Such a large scale process would definitely require the sustained presence of foreign troops. However, given the international pressure on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan it may not be possible for the various countries to maintain their troops in Afghanistan. It is important for the Afghan government to train their indigenous forces so that they can eventually take over the task of rebuilding their own country once the foreign troops are withdrawn. External factors, like regional development and cooperation among the countries of the Indian subcontinent are also important prerequisites for the success of peace building in Afghanistan.

Possibly one of the biggest roles in the process of restructuring Afghanistan can be played by the youth of Afghanistan. 68% of the Afghan population consists of people who are under the age of 25 years. However, the long period of war has deprived many of them of their youth and childhood. Categorized as the ‘lost generation’ of Afghanistan, the socially imposed silence and lack of education has suppressed large sections of the Afghan youth. Moreover, the youth is hardly seen as a direct mechanism for peace building, but only as possible recruits for various terrorist organisations.

The youth has been able to overcome some of these barriers in the recent past to play a more active role. This is evident from the existence of a number of youth organisations spread over the entire country which have undertaken the task of promoting non-formal education, increasing awareness, promoting volunteerism for peace and development of the country and most of them have got integrated in the government or working of other NGOs. Despite their success, the potential of the youth is still not fully tapped. There are numerous ways in which the youth can contribute more fruitfully. The foremost task in front of them is to attempt to bridge the cultural gap among them and build a feeling of trust between themselves so that they can collectively work towards a common cause. The destructive role of the media, in tarnishing the image of Afghanistan as a developing country can be converted to a constructive one. A number of similar conferences as the one organized by WISCOMP will definitely help in portraying the ground realities in Afghanistan, which in turn can instigate the youth of other countries as well including India to take up the Afghan cause; cultural festivals showcasing the Afghan culture through the medium of literate, theatre, poetry etc could be another step in the right direction and most importantly it is when the well-educated Afghan youth, especially the ones living outside the country, stress upon the revival of a ‘lost home’ that the country can hope to develop in the right direction.

- Aryaman Bhatnagar (the author can be reached at yp.aryamanbhatnagar@gmail.com)

Wednesday 7 May 2008

May 7, 2008 by Faith Gonsalves


What am I most afraid of? The fact that sometimes even honesty isn’t enough, that hope is subject to the frailty of our relationships, and that love is separated by distance.

I allow myself to feel pain and love; to cry and scream. But I can’t help but spend nights wondering whether that is nearly enough, mostly because, on most days it isn’t. However, experience has never determined faith, and faith never experience. They are both alone, separate and different. What I feel isn’t always a product of what I know, and of what I have already felt. My capacity to love you isn’t a product of people before you. It doesn’t all boil down to analysis, the ultimate reduction of our feelings and thoughts. They all amalgamate into this vast nothing-ness where everything is consequential or inconsequential, whichever way you choose to look at it.

But, again, what am I most afraid of? Maybe that my honesty isn’t enough, and that the things I hope for will fall apart and that all the love I have will be separated by distance. I don’t’ think that’s true though. I honestly hope that it isn’t. I believe we test our own limits when we allow ourselves to feel, it’s not growth.

When you listen to a song or a piece of music that you really love, it resonates inside of you and the sounds become familiar, the words and notes come naturally, the rhythm suffocates you and drowns you. It contains truth. Someone’s soul resonates in the sounds, it is these sounds that orchestrate a reaction within you that is entirely your own.

Our relationships are alive in everything that we do, our work, our creativity, whether it’s scrambled eggs or cereal for breakfast, whether we go to bed with the TV still on. It’s not reduction. It isn’t quite so simple to delineate the idea in terms of horizontal lines, that run parallel, or that form a grid. This question is the same as whether it remains consequential or inconsequential. We have countless films and TV programmes, books and stories that look at how we are all connected, through chance accidents or fate, how and why we are connected however, is again consequential or inconsequential.

What is it then about fear that drives us to insanity, to terror in the name of defense, violence in the name of protection? Our ‘basic’ underpinnings are said to become active inspite of ‘progress’. It is this that is said to resonate within the sounds that we hear, the sounds that are now so familiar. My fears may not drive me to insanity, to a point where we will not understand each other and my violence may not harm you, or anyone.

These words are a mere microcosm of the sounds, a note within a note, present but dispensable. Though all the notes within notes make up a whole, they are all dispensable.

When I was younger I asked fewer questions. And even that isn’t true, at least then I believed the answers. Today, however, I believe it is important to create a piece of music, or a piece of some kind, something of your own. The songs of other people have long bored into my soul. Sometimes it becomes important to make that stentorian sound, rather than to be engulfed within it.

What is it that I am really afraid of? It is something fairly common. Something most of us believe in.

Monday 28 April 2008

Searching for Peace in Afghanistan: Collaborative Possibilities for Youth in Peacebuilding

A team of 4 young people from The YP Foundation (TYPF) were invited to participate and address a roundtable on Searching for Peace in Afghanistan: Collaborative Possibilities for Youth in Peacebuilding. The roundtable brought together young people from both Afghanistan and India, along with organizations and institutions with considerable expertise in issues relating to conflict transformation, the reconstruction of Afghanistan, peace and security and work with young people in both regions. TYPF, led by Aryaman Bhatnagar, Tanvi Rao, Udit Rastogi and Ishita Chaudhry has agreed to partner in a strategic youth led process that will work consistently at bringing young people from both regions (especially students) in Delhi together, through an interactive series that aims at creating stronger understanding amongst young people on the positive ways in which they can cross barriers and impact the process of peacebuilding.

The roundtable highlighted the possibilities that youth engaging in peacebuilding processes may yield and from the standpoint of Afghanistan’s strategic and national interest, explore the potential of multi-level dialogues to build sustainable peace and security. Organized by Women In Security and Conflict Management (WISCOMP), the roundtable was envisaged as an important first step in the process to

  • Understand the current ground realities in Afghanistan through the lens of human security.
  • Explore possibilities for collaboration between the youth of India and Afghanistan.
  • Evaluate the challenges to involvement of the youth in the peacebuilding process and explore ways of overcoming these challenges.
  • Identify ways in which the youth can impact the processes of peacebuilding and reconstruction both within Afghanistan and outside, through countries that are providing aid and are engaged in processes of reconstruction.
  • And above all, to provide a space for young Afghan people to articulate their ideas and concerns about the future they envision for themselves and their country.

An important element of peace building involves a process where people explore options for responding to the challenges of the present, while being guided by the possibilities and hopes for the future.[1] It is WISCOMP’s hope that insights generated at this Roundtable will illuminate many possibilities for collaboration between youth that will not only invigorate the ongoing processes but also create new partnerships for peacebuilding in Afghanistan. For more details, please contact Aryman Bhatnagar at yp.aryamanbhatnagar@gmail.com. A report on the roundtable will be circulated soon.


Reference: WISCOMP Event Concept Note.


[1] Manjrika Sewak, 2005. Multi- Track Diplomacy between India and Pakistan: A conceptual Framework for Sustainable Security. RCSS Policy Studies 30.(Colombo. Manohar)

Sunday 13 April 2008

Annual Board Meeting - TYPF 2008.

TYPF had its annual board meeting on Sunday, April 13, 2008. The meeting was held at The YP Foundation's office - D 344, Defence Colony at 2.30pm. Minutes of the meeting will be made available soon.

Members Present

1. Ms. Ishita Chaudhry, Managing Trustee, TYPF
2. Ms. Shahnaz Siganporia, Board of Trustees, TYPF
3. Mrs. Arshiya Sethi, Board of Trustees, TYPF
4. Ms. Vidyun Sabhaney, Head - Trainers Cell, (Organizational Development Committee - Senior Management Team)
5. Ms. Bhamati Sivapalan, Meeting Minutes


The agenda for the meeting covered the following:

1. Call to Order
– Review of Governance Rules from Memorandum of Association

2. Consideration of Agenda for Meeting.

3. Review of 2007 Annual Calendar & Impact Based Analysis

4. Review of Management, Financial and Administrative Changes
a. Governance and Staff Manual (Credibility Norms Review)
b. Appointment of new members and formating of Working Board of TYPF.
c. Organizational Development Committee - Structural Review

5. Strategic Focus 2008 - Draft Review and Recommendations

6. Fundraising Plan 2008 - 2009

7. Annual Training Retreat 2008

8. Volunteer, Staff and Board - Feedback Assessment

9.
Future Meeting Dates

10.Adjournment

For more information please email the Managing Trustee at theypfoundation@gmail.com


Saturday 12 April 2008

Shades of Death & God by Silhouette

Silhouette recently completed a project in March 2008 in collaboration with The American Centre and Traffic Life Magazine, that showcased two of the city's upcoming, young talented theatre troupes - Prospect Wide Aisle and Verbum, the Dramatics Society of Sri Venkateswara College to feature their interpretations of 'Death' and 'God' by Woody Allen.




The event saw a packed audience thoroughly enjoying both troupe's renditions of Allen's Plays. The project was originally conceptualized a few months earlier, when Anirudh, a University student and a Director at Verbum, approached Silhouette with the concept in mind. The project is part of Silhouette's annual mandate to create stronger platforms that showcase young artistes and build resources to exchange information and raise awareness on music, theatre and arts education opportunities for young people in India.


Congratulations to the TYPF Staff, Verbum and Prospect Wide Aisle!




Saturday 1 March 2008

Understanding HIV/AIDS, Human Rights and You

THE YP FOUNDATION
Invites you to


Understanding HIV/AIDS, Human Rights and You.


A two day workshop to explore your connect with HIV/AIDS from a Human Rights perspective. Young people's thoughts, beliefs and interpretations.
What it means and why your decisions are important.

The workshop is part of a year long project in the organization and will be focused on the following-:
- Behavioural pattern of young people, to understand better their actions and decisions
- Bridging the gap between information and action at a personal as well as community level
- Tackling the stigma and discrimination associated with AIDS and people living with HIV/AIDS
- Creating a culture of getting tested, emphasizing on availability of treatment and care and preventive measures.

March 1 & 2, 2008, 6.30pm (Both days)
Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
For further information contact: 9899811787/9818453347 or
Email: yp.fac.branch@gmail.com

The workshop is the first step towards empowering young people on the issue, providing them a platform to express, innovate and implement. It lays the foundation for a comprehensive campaign aimed at creating understanding and sensitivity amongst young people in Delhi, keeping in mind not only the general information but delving deeper into what comprises their belief systems and worldview, and the social dynamics that surround them.


Tuesday 5 February 2008

To: Sharing The Virus

Yesterday was World Aids Day, 2007 and a special day for “Sharing the Virus”. World AIDS Day is a day when people from around the world come together within a single effort. It highlights the progress made in the battle against the epidemic and brings into focus remaining challenges. I hope that each of you will continue to play your part in the fight against HIV/AIDS not just in India but in the world.

This year, World AIDS Day focuses on ‘leadership’, the theme set by the World AIDS Campaign under the five-year slogan “Stop AIDS, Keep the Promise”. This is an appeal to governments, policy makers and regional health authorities to ensure that they meet the many targets that have been set in the fight against HIV and AIDS, and especially the promise of universal access to HIV treatment, care, support and prevention services by 2010. This campaign will run until 2010, with a related theme chosen for World AIDS Day each year.

The 2007 theme is Leadership, which highlights the need for innovation, vision and perseverance in the face of the AIDS challenge. The campaign calls on all sectors of society such as families, communities and civil society organizations - rather than just governments - to take the initiative and provide leadership on AIDS.

According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.2 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2007 some 2.5 million people became newly infected with the virus. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35 years.

Around 95 per cent of people with HIV/AIDS live in developing nations. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world. Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is not just about raising money, but also about increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education.

It’s said that art reaches the soul. Each of you is an artist, and you each has the opportunity to reach people and the ability to express yourselves in ways that others don’t.

HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.

My best to all,

Pattie


To : Sharing the Virus

Monday 28 January 2008

Upcoming Programmes

Upcoming Programmes

Date

Time & Location

Details/ Queries

February 5, 2008

‘Round Table Discussion on the Comic Book Genre in India.’

International Book Fair, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Entry is free.

yp.adhir@gmail.com

A roundtable discussion between practitioners and publishers of comics in Delhi on the comic book culture in India - its history, politics, evolution and future. This first of a kind dialogue, would include discussions about the publication and distribution of the comic book form, the scope for its development. Partners: Sarai and FIRC

February 23, 2008

‘Revisiting Jeevika: A South Asian Livelihood Documentary Film Festival’

11am – 8pm.

The Attic, 10 Regal Building, Connaught place, New Delhi.

Entry is free.

yp.butterfly.project@gmail.com

A day long film festival celebrating alternate livelihoods from across South Asia. Featuring the award winning works of 15 filmmakers from the last 5 years of Jeevika: The South Asian Film Festival. Partners: Centre for Civil Society, The Attic and Platform Magazine.

March 1 & 2, 2008

‘Workshop on Understanding HIV/AIDS’

6.15pm, Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road – New Delhi.

Entry is free.

yp.fac.branch@gmail.com

Project 19: Understanding HIV/AIDS at TYPF focuses on developing better understanding and access to information and support systems regarding awareness of HIV/AIDS and treatment and care for HIV+ people. The workshop also focuses on the sexual reproductive and health rights of young people. Partners: The IHC.

March 5, 2008

‘Death’ and ‘God’ by Woody Allen.

Theatre Production

The American Centre, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi

7.30pm (Seating at 6.30pm)

Entry is free but by invite only.

yp.adhir@gmail.com

The Dramatics Society of LSR and Venky College present an adaptation of ‘Death’ and ‘God’ by Woody Allen.

Partners: The American Centre.

Additional Projects

· VOICES The School Project – Working with 15 Peer Educators, they have completed their training and will now conduct a 2 part workshop series with 5 schools in New Delhi on Understanding Substance Abuse. Voices.school.project@gmail.com

· Project 19: Understanding HIV/AIDS – The Fac Branch is working with 15 Peer Educators in collaboration with a bottle manufacturing company to train its employees on HIV/AIDS. Yp.fac.branch@gmail.com

· The Trainers Cell: The Cell is working on developing and instituting an organizational development committee and improving senior management systems. Yp.trainers.cell@gmail.com

· Blending Spectrum – BlenSpec works with street children in both education and health. They are revisiting their annual location targets, focusing on developing a new curriculum and instituting a new health programme at our two locations, Nizamuddin Basti and Sarai Hostel in New Delhi. Yp.rohanjit@gmail.com

· Kaivalya – Kaivalya is developing a series of cards and bookmarks whilst working with Transgender Artists. The purpose is to raise awareness about being transgender and our work with the kinnar community in Lajpat Nagar. Yp.sneha@gmail.com

Tuesday 22 January 2008

Opening: Senior Management and Administrative Leadership Positions

Build from an idea.

Challenge the status quo.

Reinvent yourself.

Stand your ground.

Create the unexpected.

That’s all we want from you.

The YP Foundation, a registered charitable trust (formerly known as The Youth Parliament) is one of Delhi’s largest youth organizations. We are run and managed completely by young people between the ages of 17 – 28 years. We are looking for dedicated, committed, professional young people who want to lead us forward.

If you have the time, a sense of humour (not mandatory but preferable!), believe in challenging yourself and can work with a team of people, we’d like to invite you join us. We are looking for young people to take up volunteer Administrative and Senior Management Leadership positions that work with Event Management, Programme Management, Administrative Skills, Project Coordination, Publicity and PR and Database Management.

We believe in promoting the uninhibited expression of young people and work with creative projects to build skills. We can provide you with hands on management experience build your leadership skills, give you the resources to reinvent ideas and give you the freedom to create.

For details email us at yp.admin.branch@gmail.com or call us at 9818453347. Tell us who you are, what you do, what skills you think you would like to work with and what you liked about this poster.

Wednesday 2 January 2008

Happy New Year!


While it may be the beginning of a new year according to a calendar, it's also just another ordinary day, or just another spectacular day. Sometimes it takes something as insignificant as a detail on a calendar to strive for that spectacular day.

Big thank you’s to everyone who has worked so hard, been incredibly supportive and for all the good wishes that have helped The YP learn and grow. Beyond all clich├ęs, it means a lot to us.

Here's wishing you a spectacular ‘new’ year. Do things a little differently =)

Warm Regards,

All of us at The YP Foundation

Literary Credits: Faith Gonsalves =)