The United Nations Population Fund in cooperation with Lao Youth Union (LYU) and partners marked the International Youth Day in Vientiane 12-13 August under the theme: “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages”.
This year’s theme amplifies the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and leave no one behind. Accelerated actions are required to build youth capacity for making informed decisions that lead to balanced life and fulfilled rights, on matters of sexual and reproductive health so they can pursue education, live free from coercion and violence and contribute to the workforce to realize the demographic dividend.
International Youth Day raises awareness of solidarity and collective actions that can leverage the full potential of all generations.
The celebration led by LYU took place at ITECC Mall. Multiple activities led by youth including Drawing, dancing, exhibitions and debate competition. Panel discussions on urgent issues included Youth engagement to support LGBTIQ community, sexual and reproductive health and well being as well as youth engagement in protecting the environment. A first aid workshop was along with blood donations was also organised.
Mr. MonexayLaomoaxong, Secretary General of Lao Youth Union said: “Youth is the first driving force for development and economy. They are at the age of learning and experiencing. Our role is to provide a conducive environment to access education and encourage them to be part of the social and economic planning”.
Additional celebrations led by the Vientiane Youth Center (VYC) were organized at Lanexang avenue under the theme: Youth create impact for parents. Youth led booth exhibitions of local products from women, vulnerable groups and LGBTIQ youth. The afternoon panels discussed health and mental health issues, drugs use and youth aspirations and dreams. Through this exchanges, youth can be better prepared to have conversations with parents and gatekeepers.
Ms Mariam Khan, UNFPA Representative to Laos said: “Today’s youth are talented, hopeful and capable. Promoting youth leadership and participation is a cornerstone of UNFPA’s work. UNFPA and partners invest in skills development, knowledge acquisition to make informed choices about their bodies, lives, families, and communities”
Mr SouksavanhSiphinit, VYC Volunteer said: “Youth need sexual and reproductive health information but they can be shy and hesitant. I feel proud as a young peer to support them to have access to the right information and services at VYC which provides youth friendly service without judgment, respecting privacy and confidentiality and ensuring care without discrimination”
Source: Lao News Agency