← Return to the toolkit

Create a Safe Space

Ensure meaningful child and youth participation—design with young people, not for them.

Chapter Focus:  to better understand how to create a meaningful experience and effectively engage youth participants. 

With the activities in this chapter, you’ll learn more about:

  • How to create a safe space,
  • How to be an effective adult ally,
  • Community building activities/icebreakers

This workshop has been developed for those adults who believe that engaging young people in a meaningful activity that has a focus outside of him or herself is key to their development, and will benefit both the adults and young people involved. It is designed for those who wish to help young people in their journey by having adults reflect on their personal values and beliefs and the impact they have on young people.

This workshop is about being compassionate to young people and understanding where they are coming from and the value they bring to the table. It is about developing and nurturing your skills as an ally to young people and exploring ways to create meaningful experiences for young people.

Before we dig deeper, there are a few foundational things we need to keep in mind:

  • All young people should feel like they belong regardless of their orientation, gender, ethnicity, abilities, background, etc. Encourage them to be their authentic selves.
  • Youth should feel like they matter, that their ideas matter, and that they can make a difference.
  • Value young people’s voices, and make sure young people feel heard.
  • A genuine youth-adult partnership involves shared decision-making power where youth feel empowered and involved.
  • Create youth-friendly environments that empower young people to be autonomous, use their voice and contribute to change.
  • Facilitate opportunities for youth to meaningfully contribute.