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TDH Southern Africa International Youth Network 2022
As the world is slowly getting back to normal after the ravaging impacts of COVID-19 the youth in Southern Africa are getting back to their very best. Spring is upon us and the sun is shining so are our activities going to be this year as well. Every November, the terre des hommes (tdh) International Youth Network (IYN) comprising children and young people in tdh partner projects up to the age of 24, celebrate the Global Action Month (GAM). Launched in 2014, this has now become the annual signature month in the tdh family across the world. Global Action Month falls during the month of November, when the world celebrates the Universal Children’s Day on November 20; a date set aside to call for the improvement of child welfare and promote children’s rights worldwide.
Last year was very special as we took part in the General Comment 26 rallying children from across the region to influence and contribute their views towards the development of the new general comment by the UN. More than 1000 children took part in the consultations and more will be doing so in the upcoming phase II. It was also a good year as the UN General Assembly recognized the right to a healthy environment and so elated, already we are engaging our national governments to take a leaf from the UN and invest more in protecting the right to healthy environment. This year we also had our first regional youth conference where we learnt from each other, engaged on growing our youth network and lastly made plans to push for environmental child rights in our region. In 2022 GAM is going to be bigger and far reaching as our network continues to grow in bounds, we will have youth from Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique and Zambia taking part and as we implement varied activities, we will then upload each activity report onto the GAM world map for posterity! Every child, every young person is most welcome!
GAM 2022 THEME – Promoting the child right for a clean, safe and healthy environment!
The first week we will focus mainly on awareness raising with mainly social media and traditional media. Youth will appraise their communities and peers about GAM and also call them to act to address the environmental challenges being faced locally. Through school clean up campaigns, community outreach and other varied activities we will get the ball rolling and be certain every child and young person in our communities is aware and participating!
The second and third weeks we intensify community outreach and set up eco-friendly gardens, science experiments with schools on new ways to combat climate change. Sport activities, school debates, arts and theatre performances and social media campaigns will also be dominant these weeks. Creativity is key in GAM so we continuously find ways to be creative and work with communities in all ways possible so they become engaged on environmental awareness.
The 4th week is our change week where all it comes down to engaging stakeholders, building on the momentum of the three previous weeks we will push for changes in policy, take part in budget consultations, hold twitter spaces and dialogue on key issues. We will round up GAM with symposiums on environmental child rights, tv and radio shows and documentaries calling upon all of us to act decisively to address the climate crisis.
In Southern Africa, as young people we are the change that we want to see. Everyday!