The Commonwealth Youth Council and the Hope I see in it.
Recognizing and involving youth in a community’s decision-making processes is about more than engaging young people for the sake of inclusivity. It’s about recognizing the measurable benefits youth offer to organizations and whole communities.
Youth need meaning, control and connectedness to thrive in an adult-youth partnership. Youth must feel like they are involved in something important, have a valued say in what happens and the opportunity to work with other youth and adults in the community.
Am very delighted that the Commonwealth Youth Council, an Executive body that serves all of us Youth in the Commonwealth countries has pledged through the voice of its Chairman to be a platform for actions which will empower its vibrant youth. With the advantage of being the voice for 1.2 billion young people united around a shared language and history and spread across the globe, it is in a great position to set the blueprint for how the youth is involved in decision making and influences the policy environment. There is a general sense across the World that the political and economic environment in which we operate is shaped by an out of touch elite which has been taken over by lobbyists and spin doctors. The CYC has it is indeed evident that it has perpetually challenged this perception by making a priority of giving the youth it advocates on behalf of centre stage and real power leverage. I think that Youth consultation and involvement will in a World dominated by the youth centric social media be a test of legitimacy for power brokers the World over. Indeed The Commonwealth through the CYC is recognizing this new way in which power is dispersed and the influential role of the youth in the global village in problem solving. I can see (future) that going forward the CYC will be an agent with the mission of unlocking the “Commonwealth” in all its regions in order to participate in defining a World in which major societal risks are tackled by including all the stakeholders and their perspectives.
To me, the diversity which underpins the Commonwealth will enrich the dialogue and push the boundaries of possibility in policy making. It will do so whilst supporting the understanding of a complex World enmeshed in the process of globalization and therefore having a vested interest at tackling global issues by taking into account seldom heard voices of citizens the World over. Whatever their gender; race; sexual orientation; religions and age, the CYC should consistently be an advocate of the youth it is representing and put her concerns on the agenda. That is the pioneering mission for whom the CYC should put upfront in a desperate bid to see that its audience benefits equitably and satisfactorily.
Wabwire W’a Waheirire
Youth Connect- Uganda
This post reflects the views of the author.