By Prisca Adaeze Nenger
Kampala International University (KIU) Students Guild Union in collaboration with Youth Link Initiative organizes a Youth Forum tagged:
Safe Spaces for Youth. The event, which is to raise awareness about youth issues among other things in the current political, economic and social era, is done in commemoration of the United Nations' International Youth Day 2018. It is scheduled to take place on Friday, 17th August, 2018, from 1:00pm - 7:00pm at KIU Basketball Court.
International Youth Day is commemorated annually on 12 August. It is geared towards encouraging youths around the world to organize activities to raise awareness about the situation of youths in their country. The focal point of the event is that Youths within a particular community, society, or country, selects a theme for the day, often with inputs from youth organizations and members of the UN Inter-Agency Network in Youth development. It also organizes a commemoration of the Day at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Safe spaces such as civic spaces, enables youths to engage in governance issues in the society they live in. Such public spaces afford youths the opportunity to participate physically in sports and other leisure activities in the community, as well as virtually in governance. Digital spaces help youths interact virtually across borders with everyone; and a well-planned physical space can also help accommodate the needs of diverse youths especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence in the society.
As more and more youths grow in a technologically connected world, they aspire to engage deeper in political, civic and social matters.
The availability and accessibility of safe spaces becomes even more crucial to make this a reality. To ensure that safe space is all-inclusive, youths from diverse backgrounds especially those from outside the local community, needs to be assured of respect and self-worth. In humanitarian or conflict prone settings for example, youths may lack the space and courage to fully express themselves without feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome. Similarly, without the existence of safe spaces, youths from different race/ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation or cultural background may feel intimidated to freely contribute to the community. When youth have safe spaces to engage, they can effectively contribute to development, including peace and social cohesion.
The programme also intends to inspire the University management to respond to issues of concern at the University. As such, the event will be attended by the Vice Chancellor, Dr.Mouhamad Mpezamihigo and Key note speakers like Dr, Janice Busingye the Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration among others, and the Students Guild Cabinet.
Highlights of the events will be the Safe Spaces Tours, MTV Shuga Down South Video Show, Motivational speech by a notable personality in the society, as well as Entertainment by East Africa Records.