Kategoriarkiv: WHS

Count Young People as Partners in Humanitarian Agenda!

Juan, 16, is from East Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia, where 11% of people are classified as poor. Juan and his friends advocate on environment and climate change issues and raise awareness on the importance of behaviour change to protect his community for future generations. Juan is one of the Plan International youth delegates who will be attending the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey 23-24 May 2016. "I am so excited and proud to participate in this important event with other young people from around the world. I am really looking forward to seeing how the young people like myself will shape the agenda, how the leaders will listen to what we say, and learn how young people are involved in humanitarian action around the world."I am Juan, 16 year old boy from East Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia, where 11% of people classified as poor in Indonesia lived in 2015.

Its silent beauty comprises of beautiful mountains, hills, green forest, savanna, waterfalls, and many more. The living creatures like birds of all colour, deer, and other wild animals are fabulous but their populations are decreasing since many people are hunting them. I really want to tell the hunters to stop doing this and it has made me want to be a vegetarian. I love the beauty of my nature here. My friends and I go to the hills, swim in the waterfall or play football near my house.

Migrant child labour and drought
My friends are young people from diverse background. Some of them have been dropped out of school due to economic problem. Forced migration as child labour in other islands is a big problem, preventing children from enjoying their right to education.

A friend of mine 17 years old, he migrated to Kalimantan Island and works for a palm oil company. When I spoke to him on Facebook he missed his friends and was sad and crying when texting with me. That made me sad. He shouldn’t be in that situation.

Aside from drop out students and youth migration, another big issue affecting children and young people in my province is malnutrition. In 2015, 11 children under five years died when we were faced with a season of extreme drought. The majority of the people here are farmers, living primarily on corn and cassava grown on small plots of land. During the extreme drought, the food and water supply run out. In some areas, food is prioritised for the father over children and mothers, so the people most affected by hunger are children and women. Some children living in the most rural villages are often forces to carry water to school. Some are not even able to attend classes as they help their parents look for a supply of water.

Flooding. Erosion. Youth action.

The drought season is scary for us, we are also scared by the heavy rainy season. During the rainy season, the rivers overflow and cause erosion, like in the village where I live with my grandmother which is surrounded by hills. Last year, the erosion of the river banks was so bad that it destroyed mine and my neighbours’ houses. Since the erosion always happens every year, the youth and the local government finally agreed to work together in building bronjong, a dike along the edge of the hills and the river to prevent the erosion in the future. Since it requires many volunteers, I mobilized the youth in my village to take part. I was really happy to get the enthusiasm of my friends to work together for this program. I think it is important to engage the youth for any program run and funded by the government. With the support of young people, the programme was completed quicker and more efficiently.

Support young people to join government programmes is an entry point where young people can bring real contributions for the community. There are more young people in the world than ever before. We have the potentials and energy to take part in development. My friends in the city use technology and social media to contribute to society. Even though I am living in a more rural village, away from more developed infrastructure, I am able to contribute to my community and share this action with my friends

In Indonesia, children and young people can be active citizens through the existence of the children forum – a space for children participation in development, and Karang Taruna, a youth platform that has role to take a part in the community development. Unfortunately, due to the traditional views of some local leaders, we are not always listened to. However, it is important to have this “formal” place for children and young people to exercise our right to participate as citizens and in some areas the attitudes of local leaders are changing.

My friends and I have been promoting the issues of environment and climate change through the local radio in my community. We raised awareness on how to change our behaviour become more-friendly environment such as managing the trash, stop cutting trees, and hunting animals in the forest. I am very concerned about the destruction of nature where the living creatures lives. I want today’s young people, as the future generation, to play an important role for saving our nature. I want to become a veterinarian.

Count us as your partners!
The World Humanitarian Summit will take place in Turkey on the 23rd and 24th May, where a new agenda of humanity will be discussed by the world leaders, representatives of civil society, and young people from around the world.
I am so excited and proud to participate in this important event with other young people from around the world. I am really looking forward to seeing how the young people like myself will shape the agenda, how the leaders will listen to what we say, and learn how young people are involved in humanitarian action around the world.

I hope governments and organisations around the world will commit their support to the Compact for Young People in Humanitarian Action and:

1. Strengthen the role of young people to take action at a community level to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters.

2. Ensure a platform is available to allow young people and leaders to meaningfully work together to implement the new humanitarian agenda globally and with local communities.

3. Work together to protect nature.

So governments, count us as your partners!

Juan, Indonesia

Satta’s story

Satta, 18, is from Liberia which endured 15 years of civil conflict. As the Liberia started the recovery process, the Ebola epidemic hit with over 10,600 cases reported and 4800 deaths. Satta is one of the Plan International youth delegates who will be attending the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey 23-24 May 2016. "During the Ebola crisis, working with members of my children and youth group, we took risks to go into effected communities, informing people and carrying out public campaigns on the radio on how to prevent the spread of Ebola. We also carried out research into the number of children who had been orphaned by Ebola. I felt motivated and determine to speak out for these children and contribute to society."My name is Satta. I am 18 from Liberia and in my last year of high school.

Liberia, a developing nation, was engulfed in civil war for 15 years, a war which killed over 25,000 people including women and children, orphaning children and leaving many people disabled. Liberia has been left in a state of poverty and struggle, the war causing a serious setback for us.

Even now, over ten years later, young people in Liberia are faced with many issues, our rights on a daily basic are abused and violated, girls are been raped, boys are sexually abused, young people are used as perpetrators of violence. According to the government, in 2014, 657 children were victims of sexual and gender based violence.

On top of all of this, in 2014 we were hit hard by the Ebola crisis causing a huge catastrophe to our already poor health system and a crisis for education, as the country schools were shut down.

During the Ebola crisis, working with members of my children and youth group, we took risks to go into effected communities, informing people and carrying out public campaigns on the radio on how to prevent the spread of Ebola. We also carried out research into the number of children who had been orphaned by Ebola. I felt motivated and determine to speak out for these children and contribute to society.

Orphaned by Ebola – One Girl’s Story

During our research I met a seventeen year old girl, a student, who had lost both her parents, and nine other relatives to the evil hands of Ebola. I remember that morning, the sorrow and fear on her face, she was broken; and at first she refused to talk to me. I told her how afraid I was at first, I told her my story about my fear during the crisis, then she consented and told me her story. She said her family didn’t believe that Ebola existed.

Her father had been a nurse and contract Ebola in a local hospital. At first they believed it was Malaria and then that someone had poised him and the family. They didn’t want to take him to the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) as they did not believe anyone who visited the ETU came out alive. When he died the other family members washed his body and then contracted the virus and died. This continued until most of her family had died. An unknown community resident eventually reported the situation to an Ebola response team. The family members, include her, were taking to an ETU. Her four siblings died in the ETU after five days. Her and her little brother of four ears old were the only family members who survived. She told the story with tears in her eyes. I felt that sorry deep down in my heart as my eye filled with tears.

She then explained how community members then ill-treated her and refuse them from visiting or playing with their kids. “They think we will spread the disease further to others in their homes.” She said. “Our parents are dead, we don’t have family members either, how do I take care of my little brother, I’m sure we won’t get in school again, I feel like dying too” she cried.

Supporting the Women and Girls at the Forefront of the Ebola Crisis

From her story, I placed myself in her shoes; I got passionate about our project. Our research identified that over 1,500 children in my county had lost their parents to the deadly virus. These children needed families; hope, and integration into society and I wanted to help.

After campaigning and advocating on this issue, a scholarship and fund raising program called “Back to School” was launched to raise money for school items. After brining different organization together, we were able to provide five hundred scholarships to vulnerable children, orphans, and children that were affected by the Ebola virus disease, including the 17 year old girl and her little brother.

This was particularly important for the young women and girls who were at the fore front of the crisis. They were the ones taking the lead in caring for family members and relatives who were sick and could transmit the disease. They risked their lives for the safety of their families.

Girls also became vulnerable and exposed. In some cases girls had to trade their bodies to earn money for them and their families who were increasingly desperate. After the crisis the number of teenage pregnancies has increased. Even now girl’s enrollments in school are low, because of the many issues they faced including during Ebola, early marriage, teenage pregnancy rape and financial constraints.

Many girls in this situation did not think they would be able to return to school or recover from the horror experienced during the crisis. Some girls have been able to access the scholarship scheme and now the Liberian National Children’s Forum, which I am a spokesperson for and supported by Plan International, are also supporting girls and young women though peer counselling programs and sessions as a way of supporting girls in Liberia.

My Asks to Governments

During the World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey, governments and organizations around the world have the opportunity to support the Compact for Youth in Humanitarian Action. I hope this will help mobilize support for the following actions:

1. Children and young people from Ebola affected countries need more support to build their capacities and development. My education was disrupted during the Ebola Crisis, because all schools were shut down in Liberia as a way of fighting the Ebola Virus Disease. During that time I felt discouraged and afraid. This must not happen for other young people in a crisis.

2. We must be involved in actions to prevent violence against children. Young people are the ones to make the future tomorrow, our participation in national and international activities and decision making is essential to help to improve development, justice, peace and security around the world.

3. We must do more to stop early marriage and low girls enrolment in school as it is hampering the situation for girls development around the world. We want governments around the world to spend less on the military and more on girl’s health, safety and education.