ActionAid Senegal and Youth Activists celebrate International Youth Day

August 25, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

By

Alpha Jallow

As youths constitutes the greatest portion of society, ActionAid Senegal believes that youth issues are at the heart of concerns of the authorities and community actors. Youth constitutes the largest segment of global society, making an intervention objective becoming a priority for policy makers or for international and national organizations. This formed the basis of International Youth Day earlier this month.

In this context, Activista Senegal, with the support of ActionAid, has contributed by providing a forum for exchange on the issues facing young people in Senegal. The theme for this years International Youth Day: On the Road to 2030. The Eradication of Poverty and achieving a sustainable production and consumption formed the highlights of celebrations.

In this regard, more than 1,000 people were involved in the various events organized in the cities of Dakar, Tambacounda of Diossong, Kaolack and Matam. During the week long event, there was a series of symposium and forums on different subjects ranging from youth unemployment, illegal migration, access to project implementation and finacing and also safe cities for women. The forums have been an occasion of intense exchanges between the young and the elderly in order to propose alternatives to close the gap related to the social life of young people. The forum organized by the Group Activista Dakar was an occasion for the young activists to meet and discuss with the Director of ActionAid Senegal, Mrs. Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba, who made a remarkable presentation on the role of youth in the process of social change, especially the political positioning of young people in the new strategy of ActionAid International.

The youths also called for Reflection sessions on the different subject matters discussed with the aim of enabling small groups to diagnose the problems of youth using participatory analysis tools. Malick Diop, a member of Activista Group of Kaolack, was among the participants. “This is a great time for me learning about how young people in Kaolack live in distress, given the shortages they face everyday. I call on the authorities to review public policies to improve the living conditions of juvenile populations of Senegal,” he opined.

Niakhalin Sane, responsible for Advocacy at Activista Tambacounda discussed at length the youth issues in the area, ”girls miss their education simply because they are victims of violence even on the way to school. As youth activists we have to alert the authorities to this phenomenon while continuing to educate young people,” he emphasised.

A project for reforestation and a series of radio programs were also put into action under the leadership of Activista Groups. Live streaming on social media like Facebook and Twitter through # IYD2016 and #Youthdiscuss, was put in place to enable young people to make contributions on matters affecting the young people in general.

Activista is the platform of youth implemented by ActionAid International with the aim of enabling young people to actively participate in the process of social change through their participation in international campaigns, national or local. The ultimate goal is to make young people as many drivers for change within their community. In Senegal, 15 Groups are in place in both rural and urban areas, with a view to the Young actors aware of their future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alpha Jallow

Alpha is a freelance journalist from Dakar, Senegal, having worked for the BBC African Radio service, West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) and Radio France Internationale (RFI).

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