Linda Dale launched CAP International in 2005 on its own after it had been a project within another organization from 2000 to 2005. It was originally started because she saw youth implicated in armed conflict and as child soldiers and she wanted to create a space for youth to support each other and create peer- support groups that they can use at local level. Another goal of the organization is to advocate and speak about children’s rights in armed conflict. CAP works to create the opportunities and space for youth to speak from their own perspective on issues such as children born in conflict, former child soldiers, and youth and children living and working in the extractive industry.
A lot of the time youth don’t have the space and opportunity to speak about issues that affect them directly. CAP is helping to change this. CAP members are able to speak to a situation, analyze it and provide solutions on a local, national and international level. CAP currently works in Uganda and has worked in Columbia, Rwanda and Thailand in the past.
The organization uses arts-based work – drawing, social mapping, mask creation – to allow people to think with their head and heart and is very participatory. “It’s so important learn from youth, listen to them,” Linda says.
Currently, CAP is working on documenting youth’s experiences with the Lord’s Resistance Army so when/ if Kony is brought to court these accounts can be heard as testimony. CAP is also working on creating scholarships to support youth attending school.
“We recently worked with Save the Children and International Bureau of Children’s Rights on a Children’s Rights Package for Africa. The children and youth’s perspectives will be part of the training process and CAP’s members will support the workshops with youth included in the workshop.” Linda explains.
CAP is a new member of ACIC and Linda says it’s important to feel part of a community and to learn from each other. “ACIC is more important in Atlantic Canada where organizations are smaller and more cooperation is needed and possible.”
Interested in volunteering with CAP?
Do you have social media and website experience? Interested in Skyping with CAP members overseas? Have time to spend supporting this great organization? CAP is looking for volunteers who have arts and sports experience as well to work with the youth in Northern Uganda. If you’re interested be in touch with Linda Dale: email@example.com and check out the website: www.childrenyouthaspeacebuilders.ca.