The increasing and overlapping issues faced by youth globally today have resulted in a need for civil society to collaborate and take action for a collective cause. This need is particularly pertinent for organisations representing and working with young people in South Africa, a constituency which is regularly under-consulted in matters which directly affect them.
With the evident need on a global scale to humanize sustainable development, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers and InkuluFreeheid have united behind a campaign, which highlights the need for the South African government and its UN representatives to have a progressive stance, particularly on the economic empowerment of youth within the post- 2015 development agenda.
The “Bringing the SDGs home” campaign commences as global leaders plan to congregate for the upcoming UN Summit, which will be held on 25-27 September 2015, to adopt the new SDGs. High on the priority list for this campaign is the need to advance the economic empowerment of youth within a global platform.
This campaign convened a roundtable on 06 August 2015 discussion between youth organisations in the Western Cape. The following issues arose from the roundtable with respect to the SDGs agenda:
? The new SDGs are comprehensive and practical with real potential to lead to meaningful transformation in the next fifteen years for marginalized groups such as youth. However, success will depend largely on the participation and engagement with a broad section of stakeholders across society.
? Young people in particular play a crucial role in development yet too often their voices are left out of critical policy dialogues platforms and decision making around their own development.
? Concerning youth and poverty alleviation, South Africa should prioritise interventions on skills development and addressing systematic barriers to productive employment and income generation activities. Collectively these issues have intertwined and formed an avalanche of challenges that continue to hinder the positive development for South Africa’s youth.
? Thus, youth participation in the SDGs should be deepened to support the implementation of national strategies aimed towards youth poverty alleviation.
With active citizenry increasingly becoming important for inclusive socio-economic development, the “Bringing the SDGs Home” campaign calls on the South African government to create dialogue platforms to deepen the participation of young people in the SDGs process and to support poverty alleviation among youth.
In an effort to raise awareness and move the conversation forward, we will be organising a series of Twitter interviews and online discussions around key issues related to the SDGs and youth development. The first of these interviews will take place on Wednesday 9 September 2015, between 19:00 – 20:00. Follow @InkuluFreeHeid, @_IJR_ and @ActivateZA for more details and to submit questions.
For media enquiries and interviews please contact:
IJR: Ayanda Nyoka – firstname.lastname@example.org
ACTIVATE!: Nelisa Nqgulana – email@example.com
InkuluFreeheid: Kgotsi Chikane – firstname.lastname@example.org