KATHMANDU, Aug 13: In his message for International Youth Day (IYD) 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “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. Without urgent measures, we risk creating a “lost generation” of squandered talent and dreams.”
Thus, to avoid such risks, we need to ensure that the youth are, as Ban Ki-moon puts it, “equal and effective” partners in the effort to build a better world.
The theme for IYD 2012: Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth reflects this urgency to involve youths in the process of ‘change’ and to invest in them. Nepal celebrated this year’s IYD by linking the international theme to the country’s current context of creating a new Nepal.
A youth organization called Yuwa created an online platform, IYD E-mela on the occasion of IYD 2012. The portal gathers the voices of youths through blogs, interviews and features that bring to light the works done by young people.
A short-filmmaking competition for young amateur filmmakers was organized by Youth Engagement in Sustainability (YES) Nepal in partnership with Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON) and Storycycle.
Talking about the theme of IYD 2012, Sailendra Dangol, the president of YES Nepal said that young people as well as other stakeholders should work hand in hand to achieve a common goal. “We have limited participation from the youth when it comes to social development.
Some young people are interested only in their personal benefits. However, we should work towards linking fun and enjoyment with causes that need youth’s attention.
The focus should be on constructing an arena where different youths who are associated with different causes can come together and move forward toward the common goal of developing the country,” Dangol added.
President of AYON, Pradip Pariyar found the international theme appropriate in the context of Nepal. “There is no concept of involving youths and partnering with them in decision-making. Hence, this theme of partnering with the youth to build a better world and, in our case, a prosperous new Nepal, is very relevant. The youths along with the adults must be equally involved in all planning and execution processes,” Pariyar said. “The youths need to prove themselves by doing well in whatever professions or causes they are involved in.”
“Youths, so far, have only been addressed as beneficiaries but now it is time to recognize them as initiators and leaders,” opines Krita Bhattarai, secretary of Yatra.
On the occasion of IYD, Yatra presented a demo of the Adolescent and Youth Information Center at Rastriya Sabha Griha.
“According to government youth policy, there should be at least one youth information center in each of the 75 districts, where youths have access to information about issues concerning them, be it about education or employment. But since this is a new concept it has not been implemented yet,” informs Bhattarai.
Yatra gave a demo of such an information center it had developed and later sought feedbacks from the participants.
The host of events and activities held on the occasion of IYD 2012 proves there is no dearth of energetic youths in our country.
The need of the hour is to channel their energy and enthusiasm in the days to come to change the face of Nepal.