IGNITE4CHA­NGE

‘YOUTH VOICES MUST BE HEARD ON GOV­ER­NANCE’

Fiji Sun - - Suncity - Source: Ignite4Cha­nge Feed­back: ne­mani.de­[email protected]­jisun.com.fj

It is im­per­a­tive that young peo­ple are in­cluded in gov­er­nance pro­cesses. These sen­ti­ments were ex­pressed by Rad­hika Mudliar, a youth ad­vo­cate dur­ing a re­cent Lead­er­ship, Good Gov­er­nance and Hu­man Rights Work­shop at the Lau­toka City Coun­cil. Ms Mudliar said across the globe, weak gov­er­nance ex­ac­er­bates griev­ances and fos­ters dis­trust of and dis­en­gage­ment with in­sti­tu­tions. “En­trenched power dy­nam­ics lead to the ex­clu­sion of those on the mar­gins of so­ci­ety and it is ex­tremely im­por­tant that youth voices must be heard in gov­er­nance pro­cesses,” she said. The work­shop was run in part­ner­ships be­tween Ignite4Cha­nge, the Lau­toka City Coun­cil and Western Char­ity Al­liance tar­get­ing youth ad­vo­cates, civil so­ci­ety, and faith-based in­sti­tu­tions, LGBTIQ and com­mu­nity-based or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The key ob­jec­tives of the work­shop were to mo­bilise com­mu­ni­ties to be­come ac­tively en­gaged ac­tors in de­ci­sion and pol­icy mak­ing, es­pe­cially on is­sues af­fect­ing them di­rectly, build ca­pac­i­ties and cre­ate en­abling spa­ces for com­mu­nity en­gage­ment in de­ci­sion

and pol­icy mak­ing and to ed­u­cate to the gen­eral com­mu­nity on demo­cratic ideals and good cit­i­zen­ship. “Work­shops or­gan­ised for youths in the Western Di­vi­sion are of­ten a rare oc­ca­sion and many youths do not take ad­van­tage of it.”

Mon­isha Naidu, a mem­ber of Ignite4Cha­nge said as the or­gan­i­sa­tion works to in­crease the ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of youth in demo­cratic pro­cesses, they recog­nise they are not a ho­moge­nous group.

Their views and the knowl­edge and skills they pos­sess for en­gag­ing with gov­er­nance struc­tures vary by age, sex and cul­tural/con­tex­tual fac­tors.

Ignite4Cha­nge uses spe­cialised ap­proaches to reach and in­clude marginalis­ed young voices—in­clud­ing those of girls and young women, eth­nic mi­nori­ties, youths with dis­abil­i­ties and other fre­quently ex­cluded groups—help­ing en­sure our ini­tia­tives are an eq­ui­table re­flec­tion of the rich, di­verse com­mu­ni­ties in which youth live.”

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