The theme for the International Youth Day 2017 is Youth Building Peace, which is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace.
Youth are one of the main victims of exclusion around the world, both in fragile and developed contexts. Ethnic diversity, as well as religious, economic, social and political differences, creates multiple barriers within societies, which most often fail to respond to the needs of young people. In this absence of opportunities and participation, youth become vulnerable and many times stay caught in a vicious cycle of violence and stigmatization.
TNW Foundation recognizes that marginalization and disengagement can lead to devastating effects in the lives of young adults. But if they are given the opportunity, youth have an invaluable role in the contribution of building more inclusive and peaceful societies.
On the day of celebration of International Youth Day 2017, TNW Foundation in Pakistan held two training sessions with youth from Multan and Islamabad to help youth activists promote peace-building and social justice. The sessions raised issues surrounding conflict resolution and local peace-building as well as trained the participants in practical skills such as risk analysis and action planning that youth initiatives consider important to their work on the ground.
The training in Islamabad was followed by a similar one in Multan, which was attended by 20 young activists.
At the end of each session, the challenging team members of TNW Foundation encouraged all participants to develop their own action plans for small projects on grassroots peace-building to promote peace and conflict resolution.
Breaking barriers, reinforcing trust and understanding the dynamics of youth groups around the world are fundamental strategies in peace-building efforts. Providing opportunities and spaces for active participation will help youth become the leaders of the future, and will enable them to recognize themselves as powerful agents of positive change. For this reason, TNW Foundation celebrates Youth Day – young adults, unquestionably, play a key role in building more inclusive and peaceful societies.