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INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY 2018

Ensuring Safe Spaces for Youth!

Governments the world over that signed up to the United Nations pay special attention to their youthful population each year by celebrating the International Youth Day on August 12th, yearly. 

The day recognizes efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing a global society. It also aims to promote ways of engaging them in becoming more actively involved and in making positive contributions to their communities.

The UN theme for this year was derived from goal 11 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which emphasizes the need for the provision of space towards inclusive and sustainable urbanization.

Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and partners celebrated this year’s event in the eastern city of Kenema. The event was marked with series of activities. 

A tree planting exercise preceded all other activities. It was done to encourage the country’s youth to help in the conservation of tree and save the country’s green. It also aimed at persuading them to embark on agriculture as a sustainable livelihood.

This year’s guest speaker was the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Hon. Jonathan J. Ndanema, who, in his statement, said, his ministry will ensure that youths are engaged  in profitable agricultural activities that would not only make them profitable employees but possible employers. 

“Innovative financing approaches for small and medium scale agribusinesses will be explored” the minister said.

Addressing the young people at the Youth  Summit, Minister of Youth Affairs,  Hon. Mohamed Orman Bangura said, in order to change the stereotypes associated with young people, the government has rolled out “Free education for primary and secondary schools, loan scheme for university students, a Youth Development Fund, skills development by investing in Technical and Vocational Education.”

The Minister assured the country’s youth that under the New Direction ‘more and better spaces will be created for each and every youth: girls or women, boys or men and the able and disabled.”

Speaking further, he assured that government “will create more awareness on the need for proper family planning and giving every youth the opportunity to fulfill their full potentials.” 

Even the UN pays greater premium to youth related issues. Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General in his words said “Young people need education opportunities, decent jobs, meaningful participation, a voice and a place at the table. I am determined that United Nations listen to the voices of young people, empowers them and follows their lead. This September we will launch a new UN strategy on youths stepping up our work with and for young people. In making the world safe for young people, we make the world better for all.”