That’s a wrap! Outtakes from the Pre-Youth SymposiumShare
Over the past three days 173 young people from 28 countries across Africa were brought together at the Pre-Youth Symposium in Lusaka, Zambia, to examine barriers to Adolescent and Youth SHHR Information and Services.
The Zambian Ministry of Youth and Sports hosted the Pre-Youth Symposium in collaboration with NYPD, UNESCO, PPAZ and UNFPA. This event acted as a prelude to the main symposium, which begins tomorrow: December 8th, 2014.
The pre-symposium unified young people from multiple regions across Africa, including youth leaders from youth serving organizations, adolescent peer educators, youth living with HIV/AIDS and youth workers from ministries in charge of youth affairs. The priority was on young people between the ages of 18-24 years, with a focus on girls and other groups of disadvantaged youth.
The purpose of this event was to provide a platform for adolescents and youth to discuss and advocate for issues affecting young people in their regions and to share strategies for effective change going forward.
In their discussions the youth conferred about strengthened advocacy strategies for investment in youth in the post-2015 agenda. They also wish to promote an exchange of knowledge and skills on sexuality, behavior change, CSE and YFS.
From these deliberations, over the course of the two and a half day conference, a series of action items were developed. The most pertinent task identified was to scale up comprehensive sexuality education among young people in Eastern and Southern Africa.
The youth in the pre-symposium also reaffirmed that the “Time to act is NOW.” Meaning, that more needs to be done by young people for young people in the national context. This includes holding their governments accountable for increased exposure to developments that better the future of young people. The better future these young people envision includes eliminating teenage pregnancy, gender-based violence and HIV and STI infections.
In close the young people asked for something simple: for a deepened engagement from UN bodies, governments and communities in order for their voices to be heard and for positive changes to be made. There is no better time to act than now.
Stay tuned for updates from the Symposium and follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to receive real-time updates on what is taking place in Lusaka.