Safe spaces critical for youth development

Malawi on Sunday joined the whole world in commemorating the 2018 International Youth Day with a call for youths to actively participate in the development of the country.

The day which falls on August 12 each year was set aside by the United Nations (UN) as a means of raising awarenesson issues affecting young people around the world and this year, the day is being commemorated under the theme “safe spaces for youth”.

According to a statement released by the National youth Council of Malawi, a lot has to be done to ensure that most youth have access to safe spaces for their development and recreation.

“Over the years, Malawi, with support from development partners, has developed spaces for the youth to come together and participate in development activities in their constituency besides discussing possible ways of enhancing their involvement in the development agenda,” reads part of the statement.

According to the statement, as more youths grow in a technologically connected world, they aspire to engage deeper in political, civic and social matters hence the availability and accessibility of safe spaces becomes even more crucial to make this a reality.

The National Youth Council of Malawi has however said it is important that Malawi focuses on the need to mobilize efforts to ensure that the youth have access to spaces that can help them engage more responsibly and in a dignified manner.

In Malawi, activities marking the day will be held on August 22, 2018 at Bangwe Youth Centre in Blantyre.

The activities will be presided over by the Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila will be the Guest of Honour.

The UN noted that without the existence of safe space, youth from different race/ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation or cultural background may feel intimidated to freely contribute to the community.

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