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Monday, 20 November 2017

Our #KidsTakeOver Featured

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Universal Children’s Day is a United Nations initiative promoting togetherness, awareness and improved welfare of children across the globe. The observance was established in 1954 and is celebrated on 20 November each year.
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On 25 October Youth@SAIIA hosted a one-day workshop with intelligent, passionate young delegates from across Africa between the ages of 13 and 23. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the emerging youth demographic in Africa and brainstorm a youth statement ahead of the official launch of the new UNICEF Generation 2030 Africa 2.0 report and campaign.
Monday, 23 October 2017

Youth powering ahead for COP 23 Featured

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This year’s official South African youth delegate to COP23 is Youth Policy Committee Member and Gauteng Focal Point, Ditebogo Lebea. Ditebogo is 20 years old, and is a second-year student at Wits University. She will be providing us daily updates from Bonn for the duration of the conference.

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Each year, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) holds a special Southern Africa Civil Society Forum. The 13th annual Forum took place last week, in Johannesburg. Members of the SAIIA Youth Policy Committee and alumni of the SAIIA Young Leaders Conference were there, to provide an eye-witness account of the proceedings.

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International Youth Day, celebrated on 12 August 2017, is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention, inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace. Naafia Amod from SAIIA’s Youth Programme argues that African youth are uniquely placed to provide inclusive and informed leadership through the challenges facing our shared world.

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International Youth Day, celebrated on 12 August 2017, is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention, inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace. Gugulethu Resha from SAIIA’s Youth Policy Committee reflects here on some of the contributions already being made by South African youth.

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In a time of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which South Africa has committed to, all sectors and stakeholders are required to participate, incorporate and implement the SDGs into their operations. The mining sector is an important sector that can either facilitate or hinder progress. While the mining sector can promise economic development, job opportunities, business development, increased revenues and infrastructure linkages, it also has the potential to impact negatively on the SDGs through environmental degradation, displacement of populations, worsening economic and social inequality, gender-based violence, corruption, health and human rights degradation.

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Youth@SAIIA has partnered with UNICEF South Africa to raise awareness on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues. In October 2016, we did a series of WASH related model UNICEF conferences, and have invited some of the participants to write for our youth blog as they continue their work on wash in 2017.

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Walburga Khumalo is a member of the Youth Policy Committee, and is SAIIA’S Youth Ambassador to the United Nations in New York. She is currently attending the 55th Commission on Social Development, which is focusing on 'Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all'.

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SAIIA Youth Policy Committee members Phiwayinkosi Mungwe, Janet Kachinga and Ditebogo Lebea have traveled to Morocco for this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP22. From Morocco and from Johannesburg, young people who have been following these issues for many years will be writing about the direction the negotiations are taking.
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SAIIA Youth Policy Committee members Luanda Mpungose and Annabel Fenton are in Istanbul for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit. They are providing daily updates on the main developments at the Summit, from their perspective as young South Africans.

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Youth Policy Committee members Pule Nkopane and Franci van Rhyn are currently at the 2016 United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) Youth Forum at the UN headquarters in New York. This year’s forum focuses on ‘Youth Taking Action to Implement the 2030 Agenda’, and Franci and Pule will be sharing daily updates here as young South Africans.

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Over the two weeks of this year's United Nations Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP21, SAIIA youth participants will be following the debates and decisions of world representatives. From Paris and from Johannesburg, we will sending daily updates and explaining how young people who have been following these issues for many years feel about the direction the negotiations are taking.

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This year, SAIIA Youth Policy Committee member Morategi Kale will be travelling to Paris to participate in the largest global conference on climate change, COP21. She will be blogging about her experiences here. In the run-up to the conference, we asked Morategi to tell us a bit about herself.

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In the fourth in a series of blogs from members of SAIIA's Youth Policy Committee, Teboho Tenyane looks at the Sustainable Development Goals which focuses on education.

Coming from a public school in Soweto, the only world we knew was the school. We didn’t have any exposure to the outside world and while some opportunities we were given, such as programmes for job preparedness, we didn’t really understand what true education was.

Goal 2 of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) focused on achieving universal primary education, and it is important for our government, civil society and the private sector to really address the issues we face in our educational system. While Goal 2 of the MDGs was important, it had no clear indicators of what it really intended to do, other than just enrol learners.
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In the third in a series of blogs from members of SAIIA's Youth Policy Committee, Janet Kachinga looks at the Sustainable Development Goal which focuses on hunger.

One of the challenges the world faces today, and what is possibly our biggest failure as a people, is ending world hunger. Currently 795 million people in the world are undernourished according to a 2015 report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation. It is shocking and saddening that at in a world with magnitudes of accomplishments, we have failed to ensure that everyone has the most fundamental requirement for survival.

Sustainable Development Goal 2, ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture’, aims to tackle this challenge, but how can this multi-dimensional issue be solved- what will it take?

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In the second in a series of blogs from members of SAIIA's Youth Policy Committee, Annabel Fenton looks at the Sustainable Development Goal which focuses on gender.

As I read the draft document containing the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), I was sitting in a bustling coffee shop in Braamfontein, the heart of Johannesburg. I read the targets relating to Goal 5 on gender and nodded my head. It was as I had expected – equal wages, safety for women, less abusive practices.

These are not new, mind-blowing targets. We have been fighting for the same things, more or less, since the suffragette movement that started during World War II. Yes, it is morphing and becoming more culturally-orientated, especially with African feminist movements, but gender equality and zero discrimination is what we’ve been speaking about for years. This worried me for a while because I had no new response to it all, because I have responded to these targets repeatedly since I first became involved with advocacy.

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In the first in a series of blogs from members of SAIIA's Youth Policy Committee, Maryam Elgoni looks at the Sustainable Development Goals which focus on conflict and violence.

The idea of conflict and violence has become exclusively synonymous with ideas of warfare, but the sad reality is that conflict and violence surround us daily and plague our lives.

A young South African woman who fears being sexually abused if she uses public transport due to her ‘revealing’ clothes is a victim of conflict and violence. Little girls in Pakistan or Nigeria who wish to get an education, but instead get shot at, beaten and raped are victims of conflict and violence. Young Muslim men from Sudan, Turkey, Syria and even South Africa who have been abducted and forced to join ISIS are victims of conflict and violence. Palestinian and Israeli civilians who are caught in the crossfire of religious and political tensions are victims of conflict and violence.