Did you know that youth are critical contributors to peacebuilding, sustainability, and development for all humanity and all living beings?
To mark International Youth Day, URI organized a live Instagram serie featuring young people from different URI regions. The serie shared young people’s journeys in peacebuilding: the challenges they face in their communities and possible solutions: the impact and importance of intergenerational solidarity: and the amazing work they do in their communities!
Peacebuilders from different URI regions were paired to share their stories; here are a few highlights.
Ninad from India shared how a mentorship program at his school kickstarted his journey in peacebuilding as a young person.
“My journey started in 2016 when I was in the 8th standard. My life completely changed after I joined a mentorship program at school. We learned about emotional intelligence and being mentors to other kids and ourselves. I recognized a great need for young people to experience such programs. From that moment, I started my organization in 2020. We have been working consistently with young kids to provide them with this kind of experience to shape their youth and help them become more responsible and capable adults.
Ninad explained that one of his challenges is that few people attend the mentorship sessions despite their importance. However, he shared that he is exploring different exciting ways to attract young people to the sessions.
Akidi Sharon Regina shared how an encounter with a young person and his touching story ignited her passion for peacebuilding. He was a youth living in a slum community marred by violence, unemployment, and extremism. Umar was open about the social ills he was forced to do to make a living and sustain himself. This conversation exposed the dire needs of young people living in slum communities, the challenges they face, and the need to quest for peace. Akidi also shared a past story of how youth and older persons engaged in a demand-side accountability program and together advocated for a sewerage system in their community.
These and many more stories shared during the series highlight the strength, determination, and contribution of young people in society when given opportunities, direction, and inspiration.
Today, URI Cooperation Circles focusing on youth across the globe are contributing in different ways; among these include; Youth for Peace- Cambodia CC engages youth in capacity-building sessions, Youth for Peace CC in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina runs a campaign, No Hate, No Violence to counter hate speech, AFFCAD CC in Uganda engages young people in vocational training to promote their economic stability and music dance and drama to counter violent extremism, Eco-Arts CC in Rwanda engages youth in promoting plastic free environments, Choti Si Khushi CC in India provides after school programs to young children living in slum communities, URI Individual Member Sarah Ayub is promoting the distribution of menstrual hygiene products to women and girls in her community.
Follow URI on Instagram and watch these conversations and much more.
Video link for Ninad and Sharon’s session
Video link for Agustina and Luana’s session (Spanish)
Video link for Sarah and Akidi’s session