Catriona Currie is the Campaigns Manager at Restless Development and is overseeing the global Youth Power Campaign. In this post she reflects on the campaign launch and how young people are leading the way to a better world.
It’s been a whirlwind year. Towards the end of 2015 we celebrated two big achievements in our office: the agreement of the Global Goals and an ambitious new Climate Agreement. But instead of wrapping up for Christmas and coasting on a sea of mince pies until the New Year, we got straight down to plotting how we could make these agreements a reality.
We started by looking back on what we had achieved. As Co-Chair of the action/2015 Youth Panel, we were proud to unite young people all over the world in campaigning for ambitious global agreements. This was no better exemplified than on International Youth Day when over 100,000 young people took to the streets globally and around 36 million heard our #YouthPower message online.
Our message was simple: we as young people will make sure these promises made by world leaders are turned into reality. So here we are in 2016. Keeping our word in an effort to make sure world leaders keep theirs, we wasted no time launching our new campaign “Youth Power: Keeping the Global Goals promise” in February of this year.
We began with the story of one young girl in Tanzania, Eva. Along with our partners ONE, we showcased her efforts to get access to clean water in her village of Malinzanga. Eva teamed up with her classmates and started collecting signatures for a petition. She’s already appeared in the local media and has met with her local decision-makers. With her District Commissioner on side, she’s now setting her sights on her local MP and the President.
100 days of the Global Goals
But Eva and her classmates are just one example of Youth Power. We have now reached the milestone of 100 days since the Global Goals came into effect, so what we want to know is – what’s the plan? How are our Governments going to make the Goals a reality and how will they work with young people to achieve them? That’s why today young people across the world are taking action.
In Uganda, the Alliance for Sustainable Health and Wealth in Africa are hosting a radio debate about the Global Goals with their local leaders, Restless Development Nepal are meeting with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and PROMISE Africa of Cameroon are holding a dance-themed photo exhibition.
We know that if we’re going to solve the world’s toughest problems, then every day counts. Complacency will get us nowhere.
So wherever you are in the world – join us today and ask your own leader what their plan is for implementing the Global Goals. One hundred days out of fifteen years may not seem like very much, but we’re not wasting anytime – so why should they?