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“CHOGM should reaffirm value of youth work”
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“CHOGM should reaffirm value of youth work”

Kiiza Saddam Hussein, 26, a Commonwealth Correspondent who lives in Uganda and Rwanda, reminds us that Ministers at the 9th CYMM made a commitment to promote youth work as a profession.

Professionalisation would come through education and training for sectors where youth engagement is important, such as  police, health, youth ministry, social work, and others.

This also included the advancement of the Commonwealth Higher Education Consortium for youth work, which was launched by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni last year at the 9th CYMM. We now re-echo our call to the upcoming 2018 CHOGM, asking to reaffirm the commitment in investing and promoting professionalisation of youth work.

While I attended the programme dubbed “Meet the Professionals”, organised by the G5 business makers’ programme in Kigali, Rwanda, I came to realise that youth are doing incredible work to advance their professional skills. They are crafting business and social enterprises that include sustainable green energy use, youth and women business support opportunities, social enterprises supporting street children, encouraging a book-reading culture in children and youth, promoting locally made goods and businesses online, digitalised mechanisms of availing job and service opportunities to youth, and digital food distribution platforms. These, among others, are some of the innovative macro and micro-business initiatives that young people are mainstreaming to promote sustainable development and a sustainable future in the Commonwealth.

Now that young people are willing to upgrade their skills and works, it remains necessary for the conducive environment to be availed in which youth work is re-organised. It is also necessary that decent payment of youth is prioritised, plus targeted economic incentives must be directed to young professional in order for young people to reinvigorate their efforts to participate in global supply chains and local content production. In due time this effort contributes to the safer and prosperous future the Commonwealth aspires to reach.

We acknowledge that there are many challenges that require attention through concerted efforts of all stakeholders. Challenges like the need to keep our oceans and lakes clean, climate change, the slave trade, radicalisation of young people, poverty, health and human rights violations. For all these, undoubtedly, it is imperative that focused approaches are crafted that will facilitate the mobilisation of every one in taking action to solve these challenges.

Notwithstanding aforementioned challenges, professionalisation of youth work prevails as an issue that requires attention. It is on this basis that I therefore call on all multi-stakeholders to consider furthering the discussion of professionalisation of youth work at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, synchronised with the Commonwealth Youth Forum that will take place in April in London. That commitment may induce and influence other key players to reaffirm their commitment and take concrete steps to invest in and promote youth work as a profession.

Reach me on Twitter: @saddamhusseink

Photo credit: Courtesy of Kiiza Saddam Hussein

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About me: I am a lawyer by profession, with an established career in human rights and climate change activism. Ultimately I believe in the values of democracy and rule of law.

I serve as  programs manager at Uganda Youth Society for Human Rights Organization. Throughout my life I have advocated for girl child rights, youth rights, women’s rights and climate action. I aspire to become a leading figure on the international level and to lead others in addressing global challenges.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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