On September 3rd and 4th, TMF had 2 mentees from Nebbi district join fellow youth leaders from other CSO’s for a consultation on UNGEI’s 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 leaders were from secondary schools, universities, national youth organizations including the Ugandan Youth Coalition and National Youth Council participated on behalf of their networks. The UN Global Education First Initiative’s Youth Advocacy Group was also represented. The consultation provided an opportunity for youth to input into UNGEI’s first youth engagement strategy and to identify girls’ education priorities for UNGEI’s 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. This youth fora was participatory, participants brainstormed strategies for youth engagement across areas of UNGEI’s work such as how to increase youth participation in research and advocacy efforts, and in UNGEI’s governance structure itself. They learned how to engage themselves as leaders and also bring fellow youth on board.
This meeting had UNGEI Uganda members from UNICEF (the convener), Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports (Committee chair), FAWE Uganda (co- chair), Trailblazers Mentoring Foundation, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Plan Uganda. Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development also attended the meeting. This in-person consultation youth meeting was the final stage of a six-month process to design UNGEI’s 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 UNGEI’s 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.
At TMF, the 2 youth leaders seriously took on the action points at the meeting that when they returned back to Nebbi. Brenda is the head prefect at her school and youth representative for education at Panyango sub county level and Anna is the youth representative for education at parish level.