Every year, International Youth Day celebrated on August 12 designed by the United Nation for young people globally to raise their voice under a specific theme.
For this year, the theme is: “Safe Spaces for Youth”.
Under the theme, Port Vila Municipal Youth Council (PVMYC) and Vanuatu National Youth Council (VNYC) gathered young people within Port Vila in different workshops on media, civic education, child Education and a workshop about the youth act
Besides that, young people also have special time to commemorate the International Youth Day yesterday by expressing themselves about the theme.
President of Port Vila Youth Council Jon Botleng says this year’s International Youth Day theme has set one big goal for youths in Port Vila and Vanuatu.
He said this year, youth council aims at letting young people aware that Vanuatu National Youth Council have spaces for young people to actually access services.
He adds the International Youth Day theme for this year is reflecting well the goal of their work relates to services and opportunities offer for youths in Vanuatu.
Youth volunteers said the International Youth Day theme: Safe Spaces for Youth in a local context is about providing opportunities for young people.
“To me, Safe Space for Youth is about providing opportunities for us young people to speak freely and showcase the skills that we have in a freedom way,” one youth volunteer said.
“It is a space provides avenue for young people can fully express them emotionally, physically and spiritually, and also showcase what they capable of by contributing towards nation building,” another volunteer said.
According to the UN, while there are many types of spaces, safe spaces ensure the dignity and safety of youth.
Safe spaces such as civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues.
Public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community.
Digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well-planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence.
Ensuring that safe spaces are inclusive, youth from diverse backgrounds especially those from outside the local community, need to be assured of respect and self-worth.
As more and more youth grow in a technologically connected world, they aspire to engage deeper in political, civic and social matters and the availability and accessibility of safe spaces becomes even more crucial to make this a reality.