International Youth Day seeks to elevate attentiveness to the cultural and legal issues faced by youth throughout the world. The United Nations defines youth as people between the ages of 15 and 24 years, although locally, youth can be interpreted in a more flexible manner.
In 1995, the general assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth with the intention of establishing guidelines and policies for action and support that would lead to a brighter future for tomorrow's youth. The World Programme of Action for Youth, which consists of 15 priority areas, including education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment and drug abuse, paved the way for the UN's declaration of International Youth Day in 1999. Since its inception on August 12, 2000, International Youth Day has served to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities available to the youth to actively participate in society.
The theme of the International Youth Day was “Youth as Peace builders”. Public Health Ambassadors Uganda (PHAU) joined Youth Equality Centre (YEC) and the rest of the world in celebrating this day by participating in the International Youth Day Run at Kyambogo College sports grounds
The International Youth Day Run engaged young people who utilized this opportunity to participate in the marathon. The day started with a warm up session for all young people who were interested to participate in the marathon. The Guest of honor Ms. Jackie Asiimwe; a lawyer and civil society activist who stands for justice and speaks out for the voiceless women flagged off the youth run in style.
“On your marks, Get set, Go....” Ms. Asiimwe the chief runner led the team of youth in the race.
This was followed by a festival of music, arts, inspirational speeches, dialogues on youth issues, and exhibitions by organizations that serve to empower youth and address the challenges they face. We know our world faces huge challenges and leaders are dividing, citizens are being ignored, inequality is increasing, and our chance of ending poverty and climate change is under threat but young people aren’t about to let that happen. We already have answers to so many of the world’s problems, and we’re not afraid to fight for them.
There were opportunities to discuss about what peace meant to youths and to learn about social development issues such as unemployment, gender equality, health care, and sexual health that are central to development in a peaceful society.