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INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY CELEBRATION –PEACE WALK – MOGADISHU – 12 August 2017 REPORT

BACKGROUND

 

International Youth Day is a day that is recognized in the world, which contributes the importance of Youth for peace building and Development. As we know youth in Somalia Make up 70% of the country population whereby most of them were born during civil war.

Youth can play key roles as development actors and peace builders in place of conflict. Empowering young people to engage as positive agents of change enables them to exercises their citizenship and participate peace process in the country rebuilding will emphasize to stay and work their country instead of leaving the country and seeking for better life in another country. The positioning of youth in society has a bearing on their leadership potential and their possible role in peacebuilding. The tension between young and old has been one of the key features of inter-generational shifts pertaining to the control over power, resources and people.

The tension lies in the palpable impatience of youth, their desire to strive for more, their willingness to be seen as responsible and capable, and the structural barriers to their social mobility. Independence from others and responsibility for others, such as taking care of a family or household, can be seen as defining markers of pre-requisites of social adulthood.

In this sense, dependency, exclusion, and social or political marginalization become prominent sources of social contest. At the same time, it should be recognised that such societal dynamics, challenges and opportunities vary across different cultural contexts whether it is in Africa, Europe, Asia or Latin America.

Within the challenging fluidity of post-conflict environments, which are nothing but contexts where the politics of war continue through different means, the young would need to show great ‘navigational skills’ in order to respond to such power dynamics.

Their social, political and economic navigation is about their identity transformation as well as the negotiation or re-negotiation of societal norms, values and structures so that they can find a voice and place in the emerging structures of post-conflict environments. What needs to be underlined is that youth should be conceptualized and studied as agents of positive peace in terms of addressing not only the challenges of physical violence, but also the challenges of structural and cultural violence, and the broader social change processes to transform violent,oppressive and hierarchical structures, as well as behaviour, relationships and attitudes into more participatory and inclusive ones.

YOUTH BUILDING PEACE – 2017 THEME FOR INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY

 

The key point to remember is that without recognizing youths as political actors, their trajectories in peacebuilding would likely be ignored, wasted and at best, under-utilized.

To  recognize their agency as a political actor in peacebuilding, there needs to be a comprehensive understanding of their conflict trajectories, and this is particularly important for those young people who have taken direct participation in an armed conflict as combatants.

To understand the engagement of youth in peacebuilding, first of all, the youth mobilization and reintegration factors such as who they are, what they did before the conflict, how they were recruited, what specific fighting roles they undertook, what they experienced physically, socio-economically and psychologically, during the armed conflict, and what ‘home’ context they will be reintegrating into will all be critical for the youth’s trajectories in peacebuilding.

 

 

Second, the involvement of youth in non-violent politics, and from a wider perspective, the enablement of their political agency in a more positive and peace-oriented role in post-conflict environments, is likely to depend on how these trajectories are shaped by the overall political and governance context.

Third, the enablement of youth as an active agent in peacebuilding cannot be considered without considering such challenges they tend to face due to the armed conflict such as the loss of education, a lack of employable skills and the destruction of a stable family environment.

The wider socio-economic needs of youths are often ignored in post-conflict contexts, as they are not seen as a ‘vulnerable’ group.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES

 

Peace talk and Walk from Mothers Plaza to Peace Garden, Songs about importance of peace in the world and Somalia in particular.

OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED

  • Over 170 youths participated in the walk.
  • Members of Parliament from Federal Government gave peace talks to the youth
  • Youth recognize the benefit of youth involvement in peacebuilding
  • Extensive media coverage of the FIRST PEACE WALK IN SOMALI

 

IMPLEMENTING ORGANIZATION

 

  1. Somali Youth Civic Organization (SYCO)

 

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