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A cross section of Youth at the event

 

Youth Civic Engagement for Post Ebola Recovery


In commemoration of International Youth Day (IYD)  August 12th 2015, over two hundred and fifty youths nationwide converged at the Makeni City Council Hall in a one day symposium organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs, National Youth Commission and its partners UNDP, CCYA, Plan Sierra Leone, YMCA, Restless Development, Global Youth Network and YAM-SL. The theme for this year’s IYD was “Youth Civic Engagement” with Sierra Leone carrying a national theme “Youth Civic Engagement for Post Ebola Recovery”.


As chairman of the event, Mr. Anthony Koroma, Commissioner of the National Youth Commission said as young people commemorate the day, they should reflect on the theme and how they can support the government and its partners in the Ebola Recovery Strategy. He said the country’s economy was badly hit by the outbreak and therefore called on youths to think innovatively to help the economy get back to its previous state. Commissioner Anthony Koroma applauded the young people for their overwhelming support in the Ebola Response and encouraged them to exhibit similar leadership in the Recovery.
In a statement by the National Youth Council Chairman, Ibrahim Prince Tholley said the theme communicates the role that has been played by young people in Sierra Leone. He noted that “youth participation in strengthening democracy has become a critical component of new efforts to renew the civic and social fabrics of the country”. He said the country can tap into the energy of young people for sustainable development.
The Founder and Executive Director of Global Youth Network, Mr. Musa Khalil Koroma on behalf of Civil Society Organizations said the national theme “Youth Civic Engagement for Post Ebola Recovery” was timely as the country is swapping from the Ebola Response to Ebola Recovery Phase. He said the tremendous and lead role played by young people during the response of the deadly Ebola Virus cannot be overemphasized as without their selfless support Sierra Leone would not have come this far in the fight.


The Minister of Youth Affairs Hon. Alimamy Kamara highlighted programmes the Ministry has initiated for young people. This includes the Youth Drainage Project (supported by the Roads Maintenance Fund) that has improved the economic status of about 2,300 youth, a National Youth Farm at Masalia in the Port Loko District, 80 outboard fishing boats for youths in the riverine areas etc. Hon. Alimamy Kamara also said that The National Youth Policy of 2003 has been revised and popularization is in progress. He said Cabinet has approved the establishment of the National Youth Service Scheme and work has commenced for a draft Bill. The Minister noted that all these policies and programmes for young people show a bright light at the end of the tunnel for youth development. As he deliberate on the theme for this year, he said the Ministry of Youth Affairs has established a department for Civic Education to help young people imbibe the culture of unity, patriotism, nationalism and to ensure its implementation.

 

 


 

 

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