Youth are today. And youth are the future. They remain key actors in the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals. ACT’s youth representatives provide the alliance a unique opportunity to engage and collaborate on ACT’s work with future leaders from around the world.
ACT’s newly approved Global Strategy (2019-2026), has a strong focus on youth participation in the Alliance. Discussions from the Assembly have emphasised that youth participation is essential for democratic societies and for sustainable development.
Sheba Chikombo from ACT member Norwegian church aid youth network (NCA-youth Network) and Ben VanderWindt, working for World Renew reflected on the week and noted the positive feedback from assembly participants on the need for enhanced engagement of youth in the alliance. “As youth, we want to learn and be mentored by role-models such as yourself, but we also want to be heard,” said VanderWindt.
“We pray and ask the forums to consider involving us in their different activities more than they have done before,” said Chikombo.
Youth have put forward their requests to the General Assembly to be included in ACT forums and advisory groups. They have also requested a Global Youth Forum and two representatives to ACT’s Governing Board. “We have no desire to fight against you, but rather to walk with you,” concluded VanderWindt.
In an event earlier this week, Her Excellency, Ms Amina Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary General reminded assembly participants, “If the faith-based organizations do not include their youth, then Faith-Based Organizations will be left behind because the youth are marching on.”