Man Up commits to support its delegations in the Congo to ensure the greatest chance of success for their community based projects. Man Up's approach is to support delegates in five main ways. 1. Plans of Action and Program Advising: Delegates submit a plan of action and receive advice and mentorship to refine the plan so it will be achievable. This will include developing acceptable monitoring and evaluation strategies and requiring progress reports. This is accomplished through regular skype calls and several iterations of the plan of action itself. 2. Partnerships/Mentorship: Based on the Plans of Action, Man Up will engage its international and local partners, as well as locate new ones, to mentor the local delegates. These partnerships are intended to be mentors, implementing partners and resources for the delegates. Specifically in the DRC, Man Up is looking at partnerships with Women for Women Int'l, IRC, UN Women, MONUSCO, and UNFPA. 3. Trainings: Man Up will work with delegates and partners to secure further trainings, largely based on their particular needs, but also incorporating sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) sensitivity trainings. Other trainings will likely include organizational capacity building, media and technology, and trainings on conducting SGBV programming. 4. Man Up will provide an online space for the network of delegates to communicate with one another and access further resources. This will be a website managed by Man Up and will include functions such as a resources page, delegate profiles, conversation sections (so delegates can ask questions and get advice from experts as well as each other) and space for multimedia blogging. 5. Man Up aims to provide seed grants to all accepted delegates to mobilize their initiatives. Through this commitment in the DRC, Man Up will be implementing its second phase strategy to support its global delegates. Man Up will use its experiences and lessons learned supporting the DRC teams to better support its current and future delegates worldwide.
Beginning in September 2012, Man Up Headquarters in New York will be implementing phase two of their strategy to support youth in combatting gender-based violence, starting with two delegate teams in the DRC. From September through November 2012, Man Up will advise both teams on their plans of action for the accepted programs through email iterations of the documents and monthly Skype calls. During this time, Man Up will be working to secure necessary partnerships on the ground, largely through local branches of our international partners. The first partnership to be secured, which will be done by October 2012, is a mentorship organization that can help with on-the-ground advising for the delegates in numerous capacities, such as program development, local context of programming, and program management. As needed, other partners will be asked to provide office space, administrative support, internet and other resources as needed. In November 2012, both teams will be offered trainings on sexual and gender-based violence to ensure all safety measures and ethics are upheld. Other trainings will be secured as necessary. Monthly conference calls with both teams will be set up to facilitate peer mentorship and discussion. By December 2012, Man Up hopes to have its online network fully functional, with delegates from the Great Lakes Region in Africa participating regularly in order to support each other in their work. In March 2013, a second field visit will be arranged to do a mid-term needs assessment on the delegates' programming and partnerships, as well as to assess the progress of their projects. This is in follow-up to a previous field visit in March 2012, during which an initial needs assessment was performed and outreach to potential local partners was initiated.
The Man Up Campaign is an organization which works to combat Gender-Based Violence (GBV), particularly violence against women and girls, worldwide by engaging youth to work in their own communities on programs they feel will appropriately address the issue. In 2010, Man Up invited 85 delegates from 25 countries to attend a summit where the youth could engage one another, receive skills trainings, and develop project proposals to be implemented in their local communities. In particular, Man Up encourages youth to use media, arts, and sports to engage youth in the fight against Gender-Based Violence. Man Up is now in its second phase of development, after having engaged a consulting team from Columbia University to help it strategize how to better support its delegates and global programming. The focus now is on direct support to delegates in order to ensure their skills and resources allow them to succeed in their local programming.
Currently, Man Up supports delegates in 25 countries. The pilot of Man Up's second phase strategy to support delegates post-summit will occur in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where two youth teams in Bukavu and Goma see the need to engage the next generation in this fight. Given the longevity of the conflict in the Congo, a lot of attention is paid to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) directly related to armed conflict. However, the Man Up Congo delegates feel that an increased level of sexual violence has also become increasingly normalized in everyday life. The Man Up Congo delegates believe this normalization of SGBV is endangering Congolese youth, in particular Congolese girls. They are particularly concerned that this violence often occurs in schools, the very environment where youth are meant to flourish and become the country's future leaders. The teams believe that engaging students, teachers, and school administrators through sensitization workshops and activities, will help address the normalization of SGBV, and ensure girls receive comprehensive education free from violence. Specifically, the teams intend to use awareness raising activities, theater, and workshops to engage the school and local communities. These programs aim to address one of the consequences of protracted conflict, namely the increased levels of violence experienced and normalized in everyday life and build a community of youth who can lead the country into a more peaceful future.
Man Up is seeking a range of partners to support these programs. These include implementing partners who can work with the delegates locally as well as partners to provide gender sensitivity trainings and research ethics for the delegations. Man Up is seeking partners to offer in-kind support such as space for the delegates to hold their own trainings and workshops, transportation to rural communities, and administrative support such as internet connections and printing privileges. Man Up is also seeking partners to offer funding to the NY and DRC teams for both program and operational costs.
Man Up is offering local partnerships (the delegates implementing local programming) to larger organizations looking to engage with community based organizations and/or youth for programming on Gender-Based Violence. Man Up offers this in all countries they work in such as Ghana, Burundi, Serbia, Uganda, Guatemala, Guyana, as well as others, but for this commitment it is particularly relevant to our two delegations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Man Up also offers exposure globally via media to its network of delegates and partners who are interested in connecting with the larger community working to combat Gender-Based Violence, and especially those looking to connect with passionate youth working to engage the next generation in this field.