The 12th of August 12 every year is dedicated by UN General Assembly to celebrate the potential of young people as active partners in development and bring to attention the challenges young people face in order to find a road map to address them.

The day gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, and equitable engagement.

This year’s theme for the International Youth Day: Transforming Food System: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health speaks volumes for young people’s contribution and recognition of the input they make in community development programmes, and their resilience to fighting hunger and climate change.

We are concerned over the increasing issues faced by young people such as poverty, lack of proper education, unemployment, drug abuse which often spur them into political thuggery, and other forms of violence including Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV). SGBV in particular, undermines the health, education, development, and personal esteem of young girls who are too often the victims that endure the lasting consequences such as teen/young motherhood, rejection, ostracization and even death sometimes. This predicament faced by young people has been exacerbated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic devastating the gains already made. Covid-19 situation has added pressure to the food instability affecting farmers due to the disruption of markets and rapid change in demand and supply in the market.

Future Focus Foundation promotes the concept of empowering young people, involving them into solving problems and creating a future for themselves and others through skills development programmes. In order to enable young people to discover and utilize their potentials, and to promote middle level manpower, Future Focus Foundation have trained over 200 young people in market-driven skills. Most of them are now employed or running their own business.

As a way of contributing to this year’s International youth Day, Future Focus Foundation team will conduct awareness raising on young people’s inclusion and participation in issues pertaining to nutrition, food security, environmental sustainability, food consumption habits, and COVID infection prevention and controls measures in their respective communities in a bid to transforming food systems.

On this International Youth Day, we call on governments and development partners to:

  • eliminate hunger and poverty by providing young people with technical skills in agriculture and other farming practices, as well as providing them with job opportunities.

On this day, we also celebrate the role of our partner, ChildHope UK in supporting empowerment of young people.

By Sylvestre Sidie Kallon, National Team Lead at Future Focus Foundation