The 2018 United Nations International Youth Week is taking a different level in the city of Uyo , Akwa Ibom State as over 5000 young people will come together for four days beginning om the 7th -10th of August 2018 for intense activities which will feature Art Exhibition/Grand Opening, Skills Acquisition, Leadership and Entrepreneurship development, Panel Sessions, Dance, Music and Awards.
While addressing The Press, Gideon Ekanem, Founder, Character and Success Social Enterprise and Visionary, International Youth Week Uyo stated that he’s really inspired to see over 200 young people who have already signed up to be volunteers for this event something that is highly commendable. This willingness to serve shown by young people has contradicted the popular knowledge that young people are lazy and entitled. I am sincerely humbled at the number of young people who have signed up to volunteer for this year’s event in Uyo, I have seen zeal, commitment and passion expressed by these young people and this is a great sign that young people are really ready to lead.
Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision-making processes and freely express themselves. While there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth. Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence.
Ensuring that safe spaces are inclusive, youth from diverse backgrounds especially those from outside the local community, need to be assured of respect and self-worth. In humanitarian or conflict-prone settings, for example, youth may lack the space to fully express themselves without feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome. Similarly, 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. When youth have safe spaces to engage, they can effectively contribute to development, including peace and social cohesion.
Some companies supporting the event are Nsik Motors, Codekago, Start Innovation Hub, Earth Well Petro Allied and refreshed by Coca-Cola. Follow the conversation using #IydUyo #SpaceSpaces4Youth or visit www.iyduyo.com.