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Consultation with Ugandan Youth on UNGEIís Forthcoming Youth Engagement Strategy
The two-day consultation brought together over 20 youth from a variety of backgrounds to discuss how UNGEI can better include young people in its work to ensure all girls, especially the most marginalized, access and complete a quality education. The youth present in Kampala represent some of the most marginalized groups in the country, and around the world, who are least likely to make it to school or advance to post-primary education.
Youth with disabilities, child mothers, youth with albinism, refugee and conflict-affected youth, and rural youth all participated in the consultation representing various organizations. Furthermore, Youth leaders from secondary school and universities and from multiple national youth organizations including the Ugandan Youth Coalition and National Youth Council participated on behalf of their networks. The UN Global Education First Initiativeís Youth Advocacy Group was also represented.
The consultation provided an opportunity for youth to input into UNGEIís first youth engagement strategy and to identify girlsí education priorities for UNGEIís partner organizations working in Uganda. The participants discussed areas of youth participation at the international, national and district levels and across areas of society including government, communities, schools, the workforce and religious and cultural organizations.
One participant said of the consultation ďI have liked the participation of youth, including those from secondary schools, for them to discuss issues that affect them.Ē
Additionally, the youth present brainstormed strategies for youth engagement across areas of UNGEIís work such as how to increase youth participation in research and advocacy efforts, and in UNGEIís governance structure itself.
Another participant said ďToday I have learnt a lot on how to engage myself as a youth leader and bring my fellow youth on board.Ē
The members of the UNGEI chapter in Uganda organized the two-day consultation. These include, the Ugandan Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports, UNICEF Uganda, FAWE Uganda, Trailblazers Mentoring Foundation and Plan Uganda. A representative of the Ugandan Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development Ė the ministry that houses the youth mandate, also attended the meeting.
This in-person consultation was the final stage of a six-month process to design UNGEIís first youth engagement strategy. It follows a literature review of best practices for youth engagement in institutions and processes, an online consultation with youth on participation that gathered approximately 400 entries, and interviews with member organizations of UNGEIís Global Advisory Committee (GAC) on their approaches to youth engagement and inputs on an initiative-wide strategy. The final strategy will be presented to the GAC at its annual meeting in mid-November.