The purpose of this forum wasto promote youth inclusion in shaping the future of Uganda and our Diaspora community and to dialogue around issues and challenges in their communities. The Forum brought together a diversity of young voices: young women and men from various walks of life and tribal affiliations in the Diaspora. These will included partners and members Youth activists, young social entrepreneurs, youth bloggers, members of youth NGOs and other civil society organizations, youth with disability and members of the Uganda UK military.
Through dialogue, we hope that young people will build understanding of each others’ points of view, and in the process find common ground. We hope that the forum will be a catalyst for sustained youth dialogue and organizing in the Diaspora, with committed and open engagement from youth. The forum will include performances, music, talks and discussions.
Issues of concern included:
• “Change really begins when you find the issue that really breaks your heart. Find that issue and take it personally!”
• “Youth are designers of a new social architecture”
• “Why call youth “the future” when they are here now making change.
• “It is necessary to support the creative freedom of young people in the Diaspora and Uganda to discuss issues of concern of their country Uganda’
• “What can youth do for a better inclusion of youth living with disability and this includes those with life threatening illness like HIV?”
The Forum was designed to specifically showcase how youth can drive social change towards peace and economic opportunity.
As youth shape their human and social capital during the crucial transitions they undergo towards adulthood, they question stagnating ideas and perceptions. In many occasions, young women and men are driven by a need for change; a change that would reshape, among others, the political and socio-economic situation in their communities.
Most of the time, their reaction is triggered by the feeling that they are not heard, consulted or that they cannot contribute to effective responses to persisting challenges.
Through their action, youth have proven that they want to be included and considered as active partners in society and that they can be recognized as problem-solvers.
Through concrete examples, the Youth Forum will examine the different ways in which youth constructively contribute towards building a culture of peace, supporting good governance and promoting economic opportunity: through their participation in governance or in public affairs; through volunteerism and social entrepreneurship, which strengthen their soft skills and generate benefits for the entire community; through a responsible use of the internet to network, learn, share information, involve and sensitize different groups.
The Forum will equally examine the challenges facing youth and which impede upon their capacity to contribute to their societies: unemployment, gender inequalities, lack of access to education, marginalization, discrimination, limited or no involvement in public affairs.