Until the lions have their own historians, History of the hunt will always be glorified by the hunters –
Chinua Achebe

What is participatory knowledge? When most of the times communities and civil society organizations depends on the external researchers as the source of knowledge production. A relationship between the researcher and the researched in the situation like these often leads to a biased representation of the community. For knowledge production to be participatory and validated it is most essential that the community itself learn the tools of knowledge production and dissemination.

Youth initiative for empowering leadership and development is a youth-led initiative based out of three slum clusters in Delhi under the IGSSS’s youth development theme. Socio-economic Inequalities existing in these communities make the people and their living conditions vulnerable to a plethora of critical issues. YIELD believes that these slum communities are thriving hubs of potentialities as they clench flourishing population of Youth who can and must become aware and active citizens to transform their lives and of their neighbourhood.

 To bring Young people at the forefront of the development discourse, it felt essential to impart them with the interactive tools that can change their lives. First for self-awareness, exploration and then actionable tools to bring impact in their communities.

One such composite tool “grassroots journalism” helped 30 YIELD volunteers to learn how to do reporting, interviewing and photography. This 7-day rigorous workshop aimed at imparting participatory knowledge along with facilitation of technical and creative support.

They were given action projects to do community assessments and to prepare wall newsletters for knowledge dissemination. All those who were part of this workshop took initiative in whatever capacity they can (for surveys, assessments, Focused group discussions) to indulge in the knowledge production and dissemination process for their communities.

YIELD Volunteer Nagendra, Suraj and Chandni have taken this platform to a different level by introducing the idea of having an independent youth owned, community-based news magazine called “Youth express”.

The idea is to report the local level issues and disseminate among the community people, civil society organization and government institution to seek their attention and to initiate a dialogue for action. Articles by YIELD Volunteers were published in a National newspaper- Navbhatart times.

They are also in the process of creating a citizen journalist app and make successive use of it by reporting the critical issues of their communities. It is certainly rewarding and inspirational to see these volunteers trying to change their world one step at a time with their intervention and participation.