It has been 5 years since world leaders committed to the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals Agenda for 2030. The SDGs are a commitment to action on poverty and inequality reduction, and ecological stewardship. The next ten years will be vital to ensuring that the world’s population live in a sustainable, just and prosperous world. In 2019 over half of that world population is under 30. Therefore the only way we can hope to achieve this is through the leadership and vision of young people.
2019 has been a year in which young people have taken the lead in an unprecedented way. We have had the pleasure of bringing you the stories of these incredible, inspirational young people, often in their own words. As we enter into 2020 it seems fitting to look back at some of these stories. To recognise these change-makers, learn from their successes and gain insight from their frustrations.
Without further ado, here are the 10 We Are Restless articles from 2019 you shouldn’t miss.
1. Mia in Madagascar
Mia, 22, is a young change-maker from Madagascar. She successfully campaigned to change the law in her country to allow under 18s access to contraception. Mia’s story shows what a huge difference can be made with tenacity, passion and strategy. Gemma Munday, the stories lead at Restless Development, worked with Mia to film her story using mobile phones and then sat down to interview Mia about her work.
This 2 part series on the LGBTIQ community in Nepal; their champions and their challenges, was probably my personal favourite article this year. Alana Christopher took an in-depth look at the legal, and practical challenges facing LGBTIQ people, documenting the progress of the right’s movement and bringing personal accounts from the front lines of those fighting for equality. This is a must-read for anyone interested in where we’re at and how to fight, no matter where you are in the world.
4. Ending Gender Based Violence, An African perspective
A late entrant, released in December, this piece by Primrose Manyalo is difficult to read at times. It is an unflinching, personal and moving statement on gender-based-violence across the African continent. However it also provides that most important of commodities: hope. Primrose’s incisive analysis, clear answers and wealth of practical experience shines a light on the way forward for tackling this menace.
5. Against all odds
When Hattie was born with Cerebral Palsy, a brain condition caused by premature birth, her parents were told she would likely never walk. Flash forwards 9 years later and Hattie is a Restless Development triathlete; running, swimming and cycling to raise money for youth-led international development. This is Hattie’s own story told in her own words.
Akello Ongom was forced to flee her home as a child, when the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was terrorising Northern Uganda. Despite her hardships Akello went on to complete a law degree and has volunteered to help other young people facing difficulties to gain an education and learn the skills they need to improve their lives. This is her story in her own words.
I hope these articles help you take stock of the amazing work young people have been doing in 2019. Please subscribe using the link at the bottom of this page to stay tuned, and click here if you’re interested in telling your story or voicing your opinions, in 2020.