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The National Youth Coalition has dedicated the International Day of Youth to President Ernest Bai Koroma for his exemplary work in succeeding in his Agenda for Change. The day (Sunday 12th August 2012) will be officially celebrated in Freetown, Bo, Kenema and Makeni today Monday 13th August 2012. (Photo: NYC Executive President, Al-Sankoh Conteh and Scribe Saliue A.B. Kargbo)
The Day is set aside by the United Nations in order to recognize efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing global society. It also aims to promote ways to engage them in becoming more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities. The global theme for this year’s International Youth Day 2012 is “Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth“.
The Youth of Sierra Leone recognizes the President’s in transforming the country through his Agenda for Change. They have also realized a greater and more meaningful inclusion of youth into decision-making processes.
In a bid to engage young people in building a better nation, the National Youth Coalition has not relented in instilling nonviolence attitude and also discouraging the so-called political stronghold syndrome, which are identified as the main causes bringing young to involve in immoral activities.
Quite recently the Coalition embarked in monitoring the entire electoral process to ensure a very friendly and transparent exercise. It can be recalled during the voters registration exercise, the Coalition deployed young people and issue them with megaphones with the aim of conducting voter registration sensitization across the country. This led to a massive turnout of citizens, especially in remote communities during the biometric voter registration process.
Executive President of the Coalition, Ishmael Al-Sankoh Conteh commended President Koroma for his exemplary leadership skills, which has earned the country a very high confidence at local and international level. He said the Agenda for Change continues to be one of the sources of hope for the youth, and added that Coalition members are willing enough to help the President achieve his goal so that Sierra Leone will regain its lost glory.
However, in his statement to mark the day, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon revealed that: “The global economic crisis has hit youth the hardest and many are understandably discouraged by rising inequalities. A large number have no immediate prospects and are disenfranchised from the political, social and development processes in their countries.” He added that without urgent measures, there is risk in creating a ‘lost generation’ of squandered talent and dreams.
“On International Youth Day, I call on Governments, the private sector, civil society and academia to open doors for young people and strengthen partnerships with youth-led organizations,” Mr. Ban said. “Youth can determine whether this era moves toward greater peril or more positive change. Let us support the young people of our world so they grow into adults who raise yet more generations of productive and powerful leaders.”
In his message, the Secretary-General also noted that youth are a “transformative force; they are creative, resourceful and enthusiastic agents of change, be it in public squares or cyberspace.”
“From their pivotal role in efforts to achieve freedom, democracy and equality, to their global mobilization in support of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), youth have energetically demonstrated yet again their capacity and desire to turn the tide of history and tackle global challenges,” Mr. Ban said. “We need to establish more and stronger mechanisms for youth participation. The time has come to integrate youth voices more meaningfully into decision-making processes at all levels.”
Meanwhile, the overall aim of International Youth Day is to endorse consciousness, particularly among youth. The World Programme of Action for Youth is started before 2000. The World Programme of Action wants to achievement in 10 main fields. The 10 fields are starvation, poverty, education, employment, health, drug exploitation, childhood felony, recreation events, Child and young women, Environment. The International Youth Day suggests that regional, countrywide and worldwide implements the Programme.
Many activities and events that take place around the world on International Youth Day promote the benefits that young people bring into the world. Many countries participate in this global event, which may include youth conferences on issues such as education and employment. Other activities include concerts promoting the world’s youth, as well as various sporting events, parades and mobile exhibitions that showcase young people’s achievements.
By Fadda Bakish
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