Fostering youth resiliency Anti-Bullying campaign
What is this project about?
Over the past decade, youth antisocial and violent behavior has become a great national concern and a top political policy issue that has been sensationalized by media coverage of rare but devastatingly violent crimes committed by youth at schools and public places. Youth involvement in such dysfunctional and violent behaviors put them at risk of being incarcerated, prosecuted, losing their education, career future, and maybe their lives.
In a so called youth society like the case of the State of Kuwait, where youth, ages 10-24, constitute about one third of the total population, the need for a new strategy to increase the likelihood of having the youth population as an integral part of the country’s development plan, instead of a liability, becomes crucial.
The current project, “Fostering Youth Resiliency”, is intended as a response to the increasing incidences of violence among school-age youth, with an ultimate goal of decreasing the dysfunctional behaviors, including violence and physical abuse, by encouraging more healthy lifestyles through self-awareness, and social skills enhancement.
Supporting The Kuwait Red Crescent Society
UNDP Kuwait is providing the technical support and resources needed to implement such a new project that tackles the negative implications of violence within youth.
What have we accomplished so far?
A New Approach: Resiliency
The prevailing response to youth violence and crime by government officials, policy makers, and the juvenile justice system worldwide, and in Kuwait as well, has been reactive and punitive. Although intervention efforts traditionally have focused on treatment after the fact (e.g., incarceration and rehabilitation), decades of research suggest that prevention is the most effective strategy available for reducing youth antisocial and violent behaviour.
Resiliency has been described as a characteristic that allows a person to make appropriate behavioral choices in the presence of multiple risk factors. Researchers and practitioners advocate for prevention of antisocial and violent behavior by fostering resilience in individuals who are exposed to multiple internal and external risk factors. The goal is to identify risk and protective factors, determine when in the life course they typically occur and how they operate, and then determine how to intervene at just the right time to be most effective.
Designing a Holistic Intervention Plan
UNDP is currently engaging a sociologist and psychologist with extensive backgrounds on social behaviours to compile a holistic intervention package to promote and introduce practical concepts and tools of resiliency amongst youth. Social workers and relevant personnel from the Ministry of Education will be trained on implementing this intervention. A training of trainers will also be conducted for specialists to train on this intervention.
Once this intervention is piloted, the intervention will be amended accordingly based on the assessment. The intervention will also be proposed for implementation on a national level.
This intervention plan is projected to be self-sustainable in that it can continue to be taught between the concerned departments of the Ministry of Education without the further support from UNDP.
Extensive Media Campaign to help spread awareness of this negative social behaviour in society
UNDP and Kuwait Red Crescent Society have partnered with the Kuwait National Petroleum Company in expanding this project and developing an extensive media campaign to help promote the goals of the project and spread awareness on how members of society can contribute and participate in the campaign against bullying and negative social behaviours.
Outreaching Students in Schools
UNDP, KRCS and KNPC are hosting special visits to schools selected by the Ministry of Education, in which interactive sessions take place between academic lecturers and students. Also the host school would also invite neighbouring schools to attend the event in order to allow a bigger number of students and schools to be impacted during the visits.
Who finances this project?
Government of Kuwait