International Youth Day is the best time to commemorate the power and strength of the youth all around the globe. It is celebrated every year on 12th August since 1999. The aim of International Youth Day is to endorse consciousness, particularly among youth. The World Programme of Action for Youth was started before 2000. The World Programme of Action wants achievements in 10 major areas which include starvation, poverty, education, employment, health, drug exploitation, childhood felony, recreation events, Child and young women, Environment. It suggests that regional, countrywide and worldwide implements the Programme.
International Youth Day is the world's first global holiday, a time to celebrate youth with music, dance, poetry, art and sports. It is also a time to acknowledge the problems faced by youth in employment, education, health, peace and justice. The first International Youth Day was held on August 12th, 2000. The purpose of the day was to draw attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding an endangered demogrsphy.
Each year from Nepal we the youth gather together for a day; filled with fun activities, music, and performances to celebrate International Youth Day. This allows us to promote peace and cultural understanding. The theme for this year’s International Youth Day was ‘Dialogue and Mutual Understanding’. The choice of theme reflects the General Assembly’s appreciation of the value of dialogue among youth from different cultures as well as among different generations. This message was clearly apparent in the two day Youth Jatra organized by us. This was probably the biggest program of Rotaract Club of Kathmandu jointly with more than 20 youth organizations. It was a two days program (11th and 12th August) which had a plenty of events in it. A group of Youth organizations in Nepal like Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON), Rotaract Club of Kathmandu, and YUWA etc were involved to make it a huge success. The event was supported by UNFPA, Save the Children, Maiti Nepal and CWIN.
The event was a celebration of young people’s energy, imagination and initiatives. We had tried to bring together young people with different skills and creativity to a common platform to showcase their talents. The program had also included a photo exhibition titled ‘Youth Expressions’ where photographs taken by young people were presented. Though the photos cover a vast array of issues, the skills and ideas behind the photos were really praiseworthy. More than 25 students from different colleges participated in a poster presentation where they made posters addressing ‘Youth for tobacco free society’ and many school students had also participated in rally, installs of different organizations and documentary show.
A panel discussion on topics like same sex marriage and brain drain in Nepal engaged participants in a lively interaction with interesting views coming from young students. Besides, one minute documentaries prepared by young people also got an audience to share their stories. The event also featured blood donation, forum theatre and yuwa bazaar, with food and games stalls.
The event proceeded on 12th August with youth organizations coming together for a solidarity rally starting from Shantibaatika and ending in GAA Hall, Thamel and, the fun was started there with B-boying, musical concert, games and food stalls functioning on full swing. Along with these, other events related to youths had also launched alongside the musical concert to overlap with the International Youth Year 2010 in Nepal.
(This article was published on Joint Monthly Bulletin "NEWZ DESK" of Rotaract Club of Kathmandu and Rotaract Club of CBE Comito.)
Rtr. Rajendra Gautam
International Service Director, 2010-11
Rotaract Club of Kathmandu