Promoting youth engagement in Basra
December 12, 2022
Engaging with Iraq’s large youth population is vital in sustainable development. UNDP has organized an open day of activities in Basra to promote youth engagement in current affairs.
During the day-long event in Basra, more than 65 young men and women from the governorate discussed human rights, development, social engagement, arts, and culture. The event was funded by the European Union and organized by UNDP through the Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development Programme (LADP), as part of its campaign to engage youth in local development.
According to the United Nations, 89% of the world’s youth live in developing countries and nearly 40% of working youth live in poverty. UNDP has been working with partners to empower Iraqi youth by equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to lead lives of dignity and economic stability and scale-up their political and civil participation.
The discussion highlighted the need to invest in young people and amplify their voices especially that this campaign aims to encourage interaction among youth helps to foster connections across generations through the transfer of knowledge and empowers them to contribute to the sustainable development of society.
Participants at the youth open day emphasized that they are aware of the latest global trends and challenges but they do not feel they are heard and equipped with the right skills to succeed in life, especially with the current complex situation in the country. They underscored the need for local regulations that enable an inclusive and supportive environment for them to feel motivated to realize their dreams.
“I have always wanted to work in the media industry. As a person living with a disability, I decided to pursue my dream and inspire youth with disabilities to believe in themselves,” emphasizes Mujtaba Kareem, a youth participant. “I shared my story today with all participants. It was fundamental for me to be heard and motivation for them to believe that nothing should stop them.”
Khansa Abdelkareem, a participant from Basra, expressed her happiness to participate in the event. “I am happy to be here today and show everyone that Iraqi women can be as productive as men. I draw and paint on glass and my artwork focuses on women in Iraq and the daily life in Basra.”
Supporting Recovery and Stability in Iraq through Local Development Programme, aims to help the Government of Iraq to strengthen the efficiency of the country’s institutions and renew the social contract between citizens and the state. It revolves around improving the ability of selected governorates to efficiently manage local government and public services. Economic growth and job creation are prioritized, with a focus on green projects involving youth and women.