No Future Without Us: Young people have the power to lead

Comment

Douglas Imaralu is a communications and international development professional. He is presently a Partnerships and Communication Fellow with Restless Development, USA and a Fellow of the White House/Atlas Corps Emerging Global Leaders Initiative (EGLI) program from Nigeria. He writes from New York.

How the real revolution against climate change will begin

#CoolerPlanet

Marcelo de Medeiros is the Climate Working Group Coordinator at Engajamundo, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Brazil formed by young people for young people. In this rallying post, he calls upon civil society to understand its strength and to take on climate change.

Since I started working on and studying about climate change people ask me: “What’s up? how long this world will still have until everything collapses?”. Then, I look to the side and I see dozens of mobilized young Brazilians. They have sparkles in their eyes when they speak on the subject to other young people and invite them to be active players in finding solutions to the biggest challenges we have ever faced.

I have confidence in my generation to tackle the global challenge of our time

#CoolerPlanet

Henry Otafire is an action/2015 campaigner from Uganda and co-founded a youth-led platform called Response to African Youth Dynamics to raise a young generation that is environmentally conscious. In this longer read for the #CoolerPlanet blog series, he details the impact that Climate Change will have on Uganda and what young people all over the world can do for the planet.

As I sit down to write this blog, it is raining cats and dogs in Kampala. Heavy rains accompanied by disasters such as floods and landslides have hit the country and are expected to continue in the coming months.

Uganda just like other African countries is not exempt from the effects of climate change. Kampala is already experiencing more rains and will see more rains, with increased risk of floods and drainage problems, causing outbreaks of cholera and diarrhoea.

Two young Ugandans who prove the value of youth-led work

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Ella McNab is Restless Development’s Partnerships Manager and recently visited our projects in Karamoja, Uganda. The experience brought the daily work she does to life and reaffirmed her belief in Restless Development’s youth-led approach.

When I found out I would be accompanying a Restless Development supporter to visit our projects in Karamoja, Uganda, I was both excited and apprehensive. Excited because the work Restless Development deliver in Karamoja is viewed as one of our flagship programmes. Apprehensive because the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office warns against all travel to the ‘lawless’ region which is recovering from decades of civil war.

The statistics on Karamoja are stark. Over 80 per cent of the population live below the poverty line and the region lags behind the rest of the country on all socio-economic indicators. Literacy levels are as low as 12%, and malnutrition levels are regularly higher than 10% (UNICEF Nutrition Surveys), in part due to the harsh climatic conditions in the region.

As a result, the development landscape in Karamoja is saturated and the main street in Moroto, the largest town in the area, is lined with INGOs. So what value does Restless Development add in such a crowded market? After a day with the team I felt confident in my answer, and proud of where our value lies:

Sierra Leone: 12 years on, young people are now clearly leading the way

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By Nik Hartley, Chief Executive, Restless Development

There is a generation in Africa and Asia more able than ever before to take over the lead role in change for all; and Ebola has been the grimmest of stress-tests to prove it. Nik revisits Sierra Leone, a year after the first case of Ebola, and 12 years after he first was there exploring the possibility of a youth-led national programme after the civil war.

In 2003 I was privileged to travel across every corner of Sierra Leone – from Koinadugu’s hills to Bonthe’s rivers – meeting young people from all walks of life. I met youth groups like the Kono Youth League and the Makeni Union of Youth, which still kept guns and machetes as part of their standard tool set; individuals in Red Cross centres looking for siblings on massive billboards of photos; and patients with limbs lost in UN shelters.

Young people – the missing means to implement the Sustainable Development Goals?

Policy

It’s young people who will implement the new SDGs and make or break their success. Now, it’s time to turn rhetoric about their importance into hard policy and practice.

In the first of a two part special feature, Restless Development’s Director of Policy and Practice, Mark Nowottny, breaks down what’s at stake in the SDGs, and why we’re at a crucial turning point…