The Youth have always been the major focus in UNESCO’s programmes. Under the UN System, UNESCO was the first agency to define and develop specific programmes for youth. UNESCO acknowledges the fact that young people are assets and part of development process, therefore they not only need to be heard but they need to be an integral part of the development process.
they should participate actively in the process of critical thinking and empirical research in order to find solutions to these unprecedent challenges.
Recognizing the importance of the youth participation in national development, Uganda National Commission for UNESCO/ICESCO has been involved in its youth activities. The UNATCOM Youth Desk/Forum was established in September 2010 to strengthen youth participation in UNESCO activities. This establishment was a response to recommendations made during the 6th and 7th Youth Fora that encouraged Member States to strengthen Youth Participation in UNESCO’s fields of competences and establish where possible Youth Desks.
The Youth Desk enhances active participation of young people in the development of Uganda and also at global and continental level, more so also focusing in enhancing capacity building of Ugandan youth. The presence of the Youth Forum is mutually beneficial for youth community/youth groups, the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO/ICESCO and Ugandan young people.
Since then, the NATCOM has engaged with 10-core youth team to volunteer and work on youth programmes initiated by them but in line with UNATCOM’s mandate and strategic objectives. Some activities have been registered such as:
- Participation in the UNESCO Youth Forum
- Tree Planting initiatives in Kabale
- Social media interaction and dialogue
- 1st World Heritage Volunteer Camp, held in Mt. Rwenzori National Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site, 2018
- 2nd World Heritage Volunteers Camp, held in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, another UNESCO Heritage Site, 2019.
The current membership of the Youth Forum include;
- Emmanuel Wabwire – Chairperson
- Silvia Namukasa – Member
- Abalo Susan – Member
- Stella Nakawuki – Member
- Immaculate Nanyambi – Member
- Jackie Nakifumba – Member
- Rev. Afred Wonyaka – Member
- Namatovu Mastula – Member
- Nabatanzi Joselyn Claire – Member