By Ms. Natasha Kanvinde, MY World 2015 Youth Ambassador. Ms. Kanvinde has collected over 3,000 votes in the past month and she continues to reach out to youth in the poorest regions in India.
The annoying ringing of my alarm clock woke me up at 5am on a Friday morning. My unaccustomed system groaned in protest, but I heaved myself out of bed. I almost had second thoughts about going on the trip, but then I remembered I wasn’t working for myself, but for the greater good. Little did I know, that today was going to be one of the best days of my life.
Over 300 young Pakistani youth representatives from all over Pakistan gathered on Tuesday at a youth forum to meet and launch the My World Survey with the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi.
Young boys and girls from different social backgrounds interacted with the Youth Envoy and shared their views and perspectives about their challenges and aims with regards to access to education, skill development, employment, sexual and reproductive health and to their participation in policy making and peace building in the country.
Chairman of Youth Revolution Clan, Rizwan Anwar noted that “Pakistan’s biggest asset is its youth; we are becoming a youth partner in the development agenda and we are committing to raise more than one million votes for the MY World Survey with as many people as possible: citizens of all ages, genders and backgrounds, and particularly the world’s poor and marginalized communities.” He continued “with more than 2000 youth ambassadors, Youth Revolution Clan will be working with civil societies, youth organizations, universities, colleges and government sectors to mark the difference.” He specially thanked Mr. Ravi Karkara, UN Global Advisor on youth & children for his continuous guidance, support and motivation to launch the campaign in Pakistan that has been in planning for the last nine months.
The UN in Nepal has teamed up with Yuwalaya, a youth led NGO that has been organizing advocacy events on post-2015 agenda at various schools and universities in Kathmandu as well as working with volunteers to collect offline ballots throughout Nepal. To support the MY World Global Week of Action 5-11 May, Yuwalaya organized several student workshops. Yuwalaya and the youth organizations they worked with set the goal of reaching a total 20,000 votes for Nepal.
This post was compiled and edited based on original blog and facebook entries by Yuwalaya and co-founder, Mr. Sanjog Thakuri, who has been actively involved in collecting the voices of children, adolescents and youth in the post-2015 development agenda process and in supporting the My World initiative in Nepal.
The UN in Nepal has teamed up with Yuwalaya, a youth led NGO that has been organizing advocacy events on the post-2015 agenda at various schools and universities in Kathmandu as well as working with volunteers to collect offline ballots throughout Nepal. To support the MY World Global Week of Action 5-11 May, Yuwalaya organized several student workshops.
According to Nepal’s 2011 Census, there are roughly 9.2 million children aged 0-14 who make up 35% of the total population, and 7.36 million youth aged 15-29 who are 27.82% of the total population. When the Global Week of Action began, there were roughly 13,000 votes from Nepal on the MY World Survey. Yuwalaya and the youth organizations they worked with have set the goal of reaching a total of 20,000 votes in Nepal.
To support the Global Week of Action, Yuwalaya organized three workshops in participation with colleges and youth organizations. In each session, Mr. Thakuri began by explaining the Millennium Development Goals and presenting the various ways that youth can participate and get involved in the development of the future post-2015 agendas, including via the MY World Global Week of Action. He stressed the importance of youth having a voice in global issues, especially since many were not aware of the impact the global development agenda will have on their lives. He shared the present statistics and priorities of people from Nepal based on My World data. The youth and adolescent participants agreed to mobilize their communities to collect more votes.
Irbid Youth Volunteers is a youth initiative that works on training and empowering youth and provides them with the needed experience and skills to create positive change in the community. The have made tremendous efforts through volunteerism. In collaboration with the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator’s Office in Jordan, they have implemented an initiative as part of the post-2015 consultations in Jordan, which is helping them to shape the dialogue and to achieve the future they want.
As of April 15th, 65% of the almost 40,000 MY World voters in Jordan were people aged 30 and under (11% are aged 15 and under, and 55% are 16-30). 53% of voters 30 and under are female.
The top priorities of voters 15 and under are: “A good education,” “Better Healthcare,” “Affordable and nutritious food” and “Better job opportunities.”
The top priorities of voters 16-30 are: “Better job opportunities,” “A good education,” “Better healthcare” and “An honest and responsive government.”
In Sudan, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is holding a number of workshops in 6 states: White Nile, Kassala, Gadarif, Blue Nile, Genina, Sinnar. The participants are coming from various national universities, such as the University of Khartoum, Jazeera University, Sudan University, Ahfad University, but also volunteer groups, NGOs, the Scouts and the Y Peer Networks. During the workshops, students and youth activists are lead through interactive sessions for raising awareness, youth empowerment, discussion on the new development agenda and promotion of the offline roll out of the MY World survey.
So far more than 1000 votes were collected; the volunteers were present in a national radio show and visited more than 4 universities. The MYWorld engagement will continue in the future, since they are planning to keep spreading the offline roll out and to engage national celebrities for the “Mark the Difference” Campaign.
Children and youth represent the future everywhere in this world –a truth more relevant now than ever, as half of the world’s population is under 25. Jordan is no exception in this respect. The Kingdom is a very young society, and the challenges that especially young Jordanians face in terms of unemployment and civic participation are steep. However, also in Jordan young people realize they can bring positive change to their communities and to their country. A handful of these motivated Jordanians created an initiative that aims to provide high school students the chance to make a more sustainable and informed decision regarding their studies. “We were not happy and had to chance something. So we had the idea of “Eye on the Future” ”, explains Malek Abu Ghanemeh, one of the initiators. “Eye on Future” was established three years ago as an annual event and an open air carnival of experience exchange. The active exchange and the provision of information will eventually decrease the level of frustration amongst students as well as their families and lead to an overall positive effect on the community as well. Since the whole fair focused on the future of youth, it also gathered different organizations and initiatives and programs, such as “Talal Abu Ghazaleh Knowledge Society” or “Bee Academy”, all aiming to inform students for example about effective learning programs.
The Philippines has been at it again! Following up their initial push from March through July 2013 involving the nations primary schools and youth organizations such as the boy scouts, and even significant engagement of the private sector which brought in an astounding 35,000 votes, with an equally promising an exciting advocacy initiative!
Members of the Nigerian National Youth Corps are in the final days of tallying votes of a representative offline survey, which heard from more than 150,000 citizens across the country. With nearly 110,000 votes already counted, healthcare is leading the way among Nigerian voters, followed closely by education and governance as the next most important issues.
Corinne Woods, Director, UN Millennium Campaign, spoke on the outstanding work that took place by saying “This survey shows how important it is for the decision makers, who will define the next global agenda, to hear from the people on the priorities that most affect them.”
The simple survey which asked citizens to choose their top six priorities out of a possible 16 choices, from issues such as climate change, equality between women and men, affordable food, better roads and transportation, and more.
The process of establishing a post-2015 development agenda must include youth input and participation to reflect the issues that concern them, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Envoy on Youth stressed today in his first press conference since he assumed office.
“We are at a crossroads. With 1,000 days left to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we are discussing and trying to set the new priorities for the post-2015 development agenda,” said Ahmad Alhendawi, referring to the eight anti-poverty targets with specific objectives on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a ‘Global Partnership for Development.’
“This is definitely an opportunity where young people can participate in setting the agenda, and then own this agenda by being equal partners in its implementation and evaluation,” he told reporters in New York via satellite from Dakar, Senegal, where he is attending the World Education Forum.