CALL FOR ACTIVE SUPPORT FOR YOUTH IN SDG FIGHT

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By:Tanyaradzwa Mutizwa

It is commendable that so many youth led Zimbabwean organisations have taken up the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) which was hosted at the Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls in February was an eye-opening experience for many Zimbabwean youths who were represented by 200 youths from the country’s ten provinces.

SDGs are a set of 17 goals the United Nations (UN) set aside which are meant to be achieved by all member states of the UN by 2030, the UN has marked 2020 to 2030 as the decade of action which will see the implementation of these SDGs.

The Sustainable Development Goals cut across all issues affecting mankind from food security, climate change, access to educate, issues of health, gender equality to mention but just a few.

The main question now is, are the youth in Zimbabwe ready to take up this challenge and implement these SDGs and what is it that needs to be done to make sure that these goals are achieved and implemented and do not face the same fate the millennial goals faced in the past?

Many a time l have come across climate change activists, some of them who have been recognized by many decision making bodies in both Africa and the world, the likes of Elizabeth Gulugulu and Jean Betrand Mhandu who lead the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change Zimbabwean chapter, fighting to address issues to do with climate change and serving the planet from total destruction.

Zimbabwe is very well aware of the effects of climate change because we are still recovering from the effects of the devastating Cyclone Idai that hit Manicaland Province killed many and destroyed infrastructure.

Lives were lost and even now there is no sound explanation as to what really caused the cyclone, there is no explanation of where the stones that ended up destroying homes came from, but the only true explanation that everyone knows is that it is climate change.

Organisations such as the Zimbabwe Youth for Sustainable Development Goals (ZYSDG) stand firmly in working together with other youth led organisations in implementing these 17 goals and advocating for youths who are working day in and day out in making sure that the world become safe again.

Youth in Agriculture Apex Council chaired by John Muchenje is calling for the Government to avail land to the youths every day, they are advocating for land so that this generation can end poverty in the country, sustainable ways of agriculture which are climate friendly is the future and the youth with the advantage of technological advancements can help reshape agriculture in the country and return Zimbabwe to being the breadbasket of Africa.

Issues of adolescent sexual reproductive health, teenage pregnancies and general wellbeing has been a topic of discussion for many years, youth led organisations such as Moti-Talk have evolved and are empowering youths on the benefits of good health and hygiene.

But can they do it all alone?

This is the time for government and private players to join hands in helping these youths who have taken the bold step of making this country and the world proud.

There is need for sponsorship for these organisations to be able to function well.

These youths need to be considered in policy making discussions because one gains experience from listening and watching the elders do things.

There is need to incorporate them in different seminars and symposiums so that they learn the correct way of doing things from the experts so that it becomes a joint effort.

Tanyaradzwa Mutizwa is a freelance writer interested in health and agriculture issues and can be contacted using email on tcmutizwa@gmail.com.

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