International day of the youth message

International Day of the Youth – NYDT joins the rest of the world in commemorating the UN international day of youths on the 12th of August 2010.

This year’s International Youth Day theme is Dialogue and Mutual Understanding”. This theme is paradoxical to the Zimbabwean context as the chance for dialogue and mutual undertstanding is being squandered by young people who have failed to take advantage of the ongoing constitution making process to voice their aspirations. Notwithstanding that the Zimbabwean socio-political framework has been marked by decreasing citizen participation in governance as a result of deliberate institutional and legislative architecture, the ongoing process is said to have been glaringly marked by limited youth participation. This happens despite the fact that the youth are arguably the most affected by the current undemocratic constitutional order.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Youth, youth organisations and all other stakeholders have mantained partisan agendas and are still failing to reach out across the peceived and real ideological and other differences. The Zimbabwe Youth Council is still largely partisan, the Zimbabwe Youth Policy is still a partisan preserve and the Zimbabwean youths are still unemployed as the unemployment levels are still high. Education is still a luxury as most families cannot afford to take their children to school and tertiary education is beyond the reach of many. Poverty and HIV/AIDS pandemic still find youths to be easy targets as Zimbabwe continues to wallow in “poverty of good governance.” 

The Zimbabwean young men and women still await a democratic dispensation and should rightfully scoff at the rebellion of the old regime but robustly participate in the current transitional efforts to bring about a democratic dispensation. The Inclusive Government should therefore, now and again be called to order; to hold not Zimbabweans to ransom but go beyond selfish interests and allow the country to fully recover and progress. The organisation also calls upon SADC leaders to put pressure on the Zimbabwean leadership to be sincere to the letter and spirit of the Global Political Agreement and spare the region of the socio-economic burden.

It is our hope that governments, communities, and leaders in different spheres will indeed engage youths in all spheres of community and nation building and that on this day which marks the start of the international year of young people a lot of government and organisational energy and focus will be directed towards youth development.

This is also an opportunity for young people to grab the bull by the horns to assert themselves. The chance has been offered, it is up to us to make the most of it.

 “Young people arise and make your mark this year. Place yourselves on the pedestal and let not your voices be silenced ever again.”

 

Some 2010 Highlights:

Maternity Leave and not expulsion for pregnant school girls – Girls who fall pregnant while still at school are to get three months maternity leave and be able to return to the classroom.

This is according to an Education, Sport, Art and Culture ministry circular (P35), which deals with disciplinary actions against pupils, which states that students who fall pregnant during the course of their studies will no longer face expulsion but will get three months’ leave after which they will resume their studies. This move has been hailed as progressive by different sectors of society as it offers a life line to young girls who in the past have been sentenced to suffer from the mistakes of their past, some  for the rest of their lives.

Many intelligent young women were forced out of the formal school system because they had fallen pregnant. The ministry has recognised the discriminatory nature of this move which rendered no punishment on the father of the unborn child.

 Instead of helping, this system only served to ostracise the affected young woman, depriving her of possibly her only form of development , an education, and hence subjecting her and the child to a life of poverty. 

Other challenges like stigma are however set to continue with the implementation of this programme and hence school authorities have been urged to help these girls fit back into the system once they come back to school. It is also highly recommended that schools implement programmes which will help these young mothers cope with schoolwork and motherhood  as well as how to protect themselves from future unwanted pregnancies. 

President Obama addresses Youth Leaders – President Obama said that Harare must signal that much more convincing reforms are being implemented in Zimbabwe before Washington will consider lifting travel and financial sanctions on Mr. Mugabe and his inner circle. In a White House meeting with a group of young Africans, Mr. Obama added:

“Mugabe is an example of a leader who came in as a liberation fighter and – I’m just going to be very blunt – I do not see him serving his people.”

Chisi, one of the three Zimbabwean youths attending the White House youth forum, said Mr. Obama’s remarks were on target, adding that Harare invited sanctions by engaging in gross human rights abuses. 

 

ZIM ‘s Youth Olympics Team Arrives in Singapore – The first full contingent taking part in the Youth Olympic Games  arrived at Changi Airport on Tuesday morning.

Upon touchdown, the team comprising 27 athletes and 11 officials from Zimbabwe headed for the Games Village at Nanyang Technological University to a simple welcome.

The Youth Olympic Village held an official opening ceremony later in the morning as it threw open its doors to some 5,000 athletes and officials.

The other full contingent that arrived was the team from Russia.

 The 38-member squad includes the athletics team lead by coach Tendai Tagara, and two athletes Tinashe  Mutanga and Sithulisiwe Zhou, according to ZBC News last  Wednesday.
Ghanaian Government to unveil a National Youth Policy – The Ghanaian Government is to launch, on 12 August, a National Youth Policy that is expected to give focus and direction to the country’s youth.

The policy also seeks to promote, improve and maintain an enlightened and progressive standard for youth development and encourage active public interest in youth development work.
Mr Isaac Kodobissah, Ho Municipal Chief Executive, announced this at a Youth Dialogue Forum organized by the Regional Youth Council in Ho last Wednesday based on the theme: “Building regional capacities for youth mobilization and effective coordination in a better Ghana agenda.”
Mr Kodobissah expressed the hope that the policy would safeguard the future of the country’s youth and called on young people to study and take advantage of such policy and develop their potentials.

Zimbabwe’s version was crafted in 2004 but has been criticised by youth activist as being exclusive and not upto date with the current plight and overall needs of young people in the country. 

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