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Two young researchers and a facilitator from the NGO Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL) were selected to attend a young researchers program as part of the SVRI Forum 2017 to be held from 18 – 21 September in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. A key theme of this year’s Forum is participatory research, including a focus on children and young people’s participation. As such, Ms. Joan Lunkuse and Ms. Apofia Nabirye of UYDEL (accompanied by their facilitator Ms. Diana Namwanje) will join a selected group of young researchers from other parts of the world to engage in dialogue and share their experiences in using the Self Protection Program and conducting participatory research activities on violence against children in order to facilitate learning on how best to enable young people to play active roles in undertaking research on sensitive topics, especially in the area of sexual violence.

“This is a great opportunity for the two young researchers and the facilitator to share their experiences and challenges as young people conducting research on sexual exploitation in peri urban and rural slum areas in Uganda, including how they have managed to involve other children and young people in research,” stated Ms. Anna Nabulya, Deputy Director of UYDEL. She also indicated plans to “translate and integrate the learnings, knowledge and skills attained by the young forum participants into current social research projects being undertaken by UYDEL to enhance and increase the involvement of young people in conducting research on sexual exploitation and drug and substance abuse in Uganda.”

The organization, which is also a RISE network member, has used several participatory approaches in the implementation of project interventions for various at-risk groups of children such as the Participatory Inquiry in Practice methodology, which directly involves beneficiaries in project design and implementation, including research and advocacy activities. This young researchers’ program is part of “Being Heard”a project of SVRI and the University of Bedfordshire’s International Centre: Researching child sexual exploitation, violence and trafficking. The project aims to promote the ethical and meaningful engagement of young people in research on sexual violence.

[News article adapted from the UYDEL Newsletter, Volume 4, Issue 6, June 2017].

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