One of the hardest issues throughout this past year has been the vulnerability the pandemic has exposed to our young people in our communities. Across the nation, young people have felt the impacts of school closures, job losses, social isolation, and academic prospects. At this current juncture, the young people are still reeling from this experience.
On International Youth Day, we have raised awareness of the effects through both specific neighbourhoods and the nation by uplifting young people as key players in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic and allowing all of us to see a better future. This day has enabled us to raise awareness of the efforts of youths throughout the country where individuals have shared their personal stories and adversities by using #YouthDay on all social media platforms.
Aside from COVID-19, 2021 has also brought forth a global struggle that coincides with this year’s theme: “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”. While climate change has altered our ecosystems in the UK, the entire world has also seen changes that often alter vegetation and food security. Weakness in food systems particularly in Africa, where young people have experienced increasing sea levels, temperatures, and less access to food resources. Therefore, organisations both internationally and domestically have used 12th of August 2021 to focus on strategies for poverty reduction, social inclusion, biodiversity, and climate change mitigation. With the world’s population increasing by 2 billion in the next 30 years, these issues must be discussed and tackled to save future generations.
At ATM, we have played our part by launching the Fellowship programme that aims to give young people a head-start in their education as well as equip them with the skills to find jobs that can potentially lift their entire community out of poverty. Therefore, we are committed to ensuring our Fellowship reaches the most vulnerable. Our core focus is on young people who are either socially or geographically isolated from opportunities to further their education.
Baidoa is a unique starting point as it is a major city in Somalia but draws in students from more rural parts of the country. This scholarship will be able to help rurally isolated young people overcome some of the challenges above to provide them with free education while at the same time improving for inclusivity and opportunities among marginalised groups.
International Youth Day can directly assist younger generations by uplifting their voices and strengthening systems in both local communities and nations across the world.