The Centre for Coordination of Youth Activities (CCYA) was established in 1998 by former student leaders wishing to contribute to the restoration of stability and democracy to Sierra Leone. They believed that the lack of policy, political and economic spaces for young people, caused by long years of dictatorship and tyranny, created a huge army of unemployed youth who are excluded from society and therefore are distrustful of any democratic political processes in the country.
Further, this situation supported conflict and instability that gripped the country for over ten years. It was clear that the damage caused to the image of young people perpetrating atrocities against their own people during the war period would have negative implications for the future aspirations of every young person living in the country.
It became important to bring purpose to the attention of the public as role models for youths in society in order to change public perception of the upcoming generation of Sierra Leoneans. CCYA works towards youth empowerment through effective coordination and capacity building of youth groups and through co-operation and collaboration with youth promoting organisations within and outside Sierra Leone.
Activities and achievements
CCYA's main activities include:
- Setting up a Youth Action Network (YAN) in the 14 districts
- Advocated for a National Youth Policy and a Youth Development Fund
- Organised series of capacity building trainings
- Trained 2,500 women and girls on rights, entitlement, referral pathways/monitoring of sexual offences
- Organised a national dialogue session of 100 youth on political party manifestos and youth development and empowerment (OSIWA)
- Trained on civic/voter education, HIV/AIDS prevention or conflict resolution and leadership
CCYA is a member of series of several networks, coalitions, alliances and movements on accountability and developmental issues. It further has provided mentoring and coaching for youth and also provided jobs for interns. Furthermore, CCYA has been engaging in lots of media engagement, capacity building, policy engagement, advocacy, researches and awareness raising programmes.