Youths must take responsibility for their lives and speak with one voice if they must be taken seriously in the country,” said founder of Green Planet Planet Initiative International, Godwin Ugah at the 2019 International Youth Dat celebration held in Calabar.
The International Youth Day is a day set aside by the United Nations to recognize efforts of the world’s youths in enhancing global society. It also aims to promote ways to engage them in becoming more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities.
This year’s theme for the International Youth Day is: “Transforming Education,” and seeks to create awareness for the youths to be ambassadors of the Sustainable Development Goals through their voices.
And Ugah stressed the need for youths to use their voices for collective and social good.
“There is something sustainable development goal is pointing us to, and how I wish that we can have this event holding concurrently across the eighteen local government areas in the State and the seven hundred and seventy-four LGA’s across the country.
“The government must also remember that we have just eleven more years to achieve the seventeen goals set by the SDG, because it will come to an end by 2030.
“At my own calculation, we are moving on a snail-speed. So the government must listen to what the youths, the people are asking from them and provide same. But more realistically, the youths must also take responsibility by empowering themselves with skills that will make them relevant in the labor market and help build the economy in times to come. Because whatever we do today is setting a trademark for our generation yet unborn,” she said.
He advised youths to start from their location and with resources at their disposal to herald the changes needed for growth and development for themselves as individuals and the country in general.
The event featured a panel discussion which proffered solutions to challenges faced by the youths while those who had distinguished themselves were awarded.
A lecturer in the Department of Public Health, Mrs. Grace Nji in her remarks charged youths to look beyond education in the classroom and lamented the brain drain in the society where graduates philosophy of opportunities are tilted towards seeking for jobs instead of job creation.
For Brenda Effiom, founder of BrenCare foundation and one of the organizers, the need to consistently inform the youths about their strengths cannot be overemphasized. She lamented the poor attention paid to menstrual hygiene and urged all to support the education of young girls to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals on health, poverty reduction, education, well being, and gender equality are met.
The conversation was also on social media where youth challenges were identified and solutions proffered.