Engaging Youth & Easing Ethnic Tensions

We have become better structured since our engagement with PDev II. Since 2012, we are better organized and have a vision of development and promotion of youth that is clearer.
— Issifou Bissiri, member of Association Jeunes Espoirs (Youth Hope Association)

Association Jeunes Espoirs, “Youth Hope Association” is headquartered in Gourcy, Burkina Faso. The initial objective of the association was to sensitize youth on the problems they face. Since engaging with PDev II, they have become better structured, more organized and have a clearer vision of development and promotion of youth.

PDev II supported many of Jeunes Espoires’ activities including organizing an event that trained members of various associations and the community about the role of community engagement in local governance. According to Issifou Bissiri, President of Jeunes Espoires, “We also promoted political tolerance through participatory theatre. One of our most successful projects that PDev II financed was the ‘Gourcy Rakiré Festival pour la Paix et le Développement.’ The goal of this festival was to educate the younger generation who don't understand the importance of Rakiré in Burkina Faso.” He continued, “Through various activities in the community including the festival and radio discussions on the subject, the youth better understand now its importance in maintaining peace and stability in our community.”

“La parenté à plaisanterie” in West Africa known as “Rakiré” in this part of Burkina Faso, refers to a social practice of a joking relationship between different ethnic groups within the same community. It allows each person to participate in verbal confrontations, to joke, mock and insult light-heartedly a person from another ethnic group. It eases social tensions that could otherwise arise between different ethnic groups.

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