Every August 12, International Youth Day is observed to honor and mainstream young people’s voices, initiatives, and meaningful, global, and egalitarian engagement.
The day provides an opportunity to recognize and mainstream the views, initiatives, and actions of young people, as well as their substantive, inclusive, and equitable engagement. It was created by the United Nations General Assembly, which on December 17, 1999, agreed with the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth’s demand for the declaration of August 12 as International Youth Day.
The message that action is required across all generations to accomplish the SDGs and leave no one behind is amplified by this year’s theme, Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages. The environment and climate action are explicitly addressed in SDGs 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15, which significantly impact young people’s lives.
The purpose of International Youth Day is to honor youth. However, we can’t be honored if we don’t take action to improve our lives and those around us. The moment to make a difference is now, and we must take action to transform waste management, innovation, and whatever else we can get our hands on. Youth must realize that they are the first line of defense for the environment.
We want to use this day to urge Ugandan young to pay attention to the plastic problem that is destroying our streets, waterways, and land. There are various strategies to eliminate plastics in our environment, including recycling, reusing, and refusing them. Young people can participate in our campaign, Taasa Obutonde, to educate other young people about the risks of plastics and the three Rs. Everyone has to protect the environment.
One of the co-founders of Reform Africa, Shamim Naluyima, is urging young people to take action to protect the environment. “Although we are praised for our youth, we must also speak out and work toward the future we wish to see. We can accomplish this by protecting the environment, improving innovation, and cooperating on these and other fronts.”
Reform Africa is one of the groups run by young people that recycle single-use plastic to protect the environment. In various regions of Uganda, they produce reusable, long-lasting goods, including bags, cloth pegs, and tote bags that are marketed and distributed to students.
You can raise awareness in your circles as well. If you don’t participate in the change, it won’t happen; get active now. Recall that we are accountable for maintaining the environment. #TaasaObutonde