A special tour to the United Nations Office, Nairobi was organized by Arigatou International – Nairobi on the 7th of September 2018 for the youth participants to the Regional Peace Programme (RPP) forum. A total of sixty three (63) participants; from Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Somali, Sudan, South Sudan and Kenya participated in the activity. The tour was an opportunity for participants to get to see and understand the role of young people as key agents of social change, economic growth and technological innovation. Moreover, participants got to also understand how the United Nations acts as a peacebuilding platform and an inter-dialogue tool for countries.
Noting that the youth make the biggest population in Africa and the world over, the RPP youth were concerned that despite the United Nations having bodies for women – UN WOMEN, and children – UNICEF, there was no specific body that focuses on youth issues. In response to the question, Ms. Cynthia Nyongesa, UNICEF Kenya Youth Advocate, who was also the guest of honor, gave a remarkable speech to her fellow youth leaders on how important they are, in contributing to peace and change in their communities. “It’s important for us as young people to rise and understand the issues that surround us. We ought to change the mindset we have of always waiting for people to help us. The world will never be a better place if we don’t become the change we want to see. Never be afraid to start small, she stated.
Ms. Nyongesa urged youth leaders to be effective leaders by using the resources around them to reach their goals and objectives. “As youth leaders we should dream big but hope deeply,” she continued. She concluded by advocating for an accountable-based leadership that is measured by how he leads others.
UN facilitators Ms. Mira Taya and Ms. Ruth Kandie, gave brief presentations about the history of the UN, the UN as a tool for peacebuilding and an inter-dialogue platform for countries and, the UN and its partners, goals and objectives. Mr. George Ofunja of UN also informed participants that without dialogue, the world will continue to stumble through the confusion of darkness and division. “We must use dialogue to advance resolutely toward the creation of a truly peaceful global society in which there is genuine respect for differences of position and outlook and where there is a shared reverence for the human dignity of all,” stated Mr. George Ofunja.
Participants were inspired by the presentations and were challenged to go back to their communities and be better and effective youth leaders.