Juba 16 August 2018 – In commemoration of the International Youth Day, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of the Republic of South Sudan and United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) hosted a learning sharing workshop in Juba.

Over 75 national youth associations, civil society groups, representatives from the donor community and INGOs attended the event. South Sudan’s Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports showcased the achievements of the “One Stop Youth Centres for Peace and Development in South Sudan” project implemented in partnership with UN-Habitat and funded by Government of Japan.

Speaking at the workshop, the Minister of Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports

Ms. Nadia Arop Dudi emphasized the need to engage and empower the youth through safe spaces and extending the commitment from donors not only prioritizing Humanitarian assistance, rather supporting to achieve sustainable development goals.

“It is crucial to promote youth engagement and empowerment through safe spaces which will contribute to freedom of expression, mutual respect and constructive dialogue because the youth are the future leaders of this nation,” she added. “We have three youth centers in Wau, Juba, Malakal which was built after 1972 and it was serving youths. However, due to lack of capacity and available resources currently those centers are not fully utilized by the youths. We need support from our development partners to make it fully functional.”

The Ambassador of Japan, Seiji Okada, said that their government is committed to building the capacity of the youth as they will be key in building the nation when peace returns to the country.

“With the progress made in returning peace in the country, One Stop Youth Centre will have a role to play in building the capacity of the youth who are key to the nation building” he said.

UN Habitat Country Programme Manager, Md.  Al-Mamun Azad, made a presentation on the Gureii youth project highlighting success of the project, challenges and recommendations to ensure that the youth are nurtured to contribute to peace and development of the country.

“We believe that with the signing of the peace agreement the youth who have benefitted from this project will contribute to conflict mitigation, consolidation of peace and economic development of South Sudan,” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries of the project, Ms.  Louiza Atovura Martin, a student attending English lessons at the youth center, gave a live testimony of how she has benefited from the project.

“Before joining this training I had never attended any form of education and could not speak English. In just two months of attending lessons, I am now standing before you and addressing you in English,” she said.

Opened in 2017, the Open Space Youth Centre in Gureii has benefited 500 youth in driving, computer literacy training, tailoring, construction, and English Literacy. They have also participated in peace building workshop and regularly organizing sports events in their community