“Disparities between rural and urban areas remain pronounced” noted former UN Secretary General, Bank-Ki Moon in Millennium Development Goals’ 2015 report. These huge gaps persist in different sectors:
- In rural areas, only 56 per cent of births are attended by skilled health personnel, compared with 87 per cent in urban areas.
- About 16 per cent of the rural population do not use improved drinking water sources, compared to 4 per cent of the urban population.
- About 50 per cent of people living in rural areas lack improved sanitation facilities, compared to only 18 per cent of people in urban areas.
- It is estimated that in 2015 still roughly 2.8 billion people worldwide lack access to modern energy services and more than 1 billion do not have access to electricity. For the most part this grave development burden falls on rural areas, where a lack of access to modern energy services negatively affects productivity, educational attainment and even health and ultimately exacerbates the poverty trap (1)
Young-adult Empowerment Initiative (YEI) works with rural communities to uplift them for sustainable development. South Sudan and Uganda fall in the category of third world’s developing countries which present unique developmental challenges. The Sub-Saharan Africa’s Demographic Transition is a big shift with over 70% of its population being young people who live in abject rural poverty. Therefore, YEI’s planning for the Future of East Africa’s youths through empowerment and development of their skills is a prudent step for the region’s Human Capital. (2)
Political conflicts in various parts of the world are, more and more often, of an
extended duration. Rhetorically, integration has always been a guiding principle of refugee programs in countries that host them. According to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, restoring refugees to dignity and ensuring the provision of human rights includes an approach that would lead to their integration in the host society. (3)
YEI shares and cherishes the above observations and believes that social cohesion among the refugees and their host communities can promote peaceful co-existence, harmony and unity of purpose. This is what we, as a peace building organization advocate for, in Uganda which hosts the biggest region’s refugees. Refugee-Host (Re)integration Programmes [ReHope] can be of imperative crucial and mutual benefits for both the refugees and their hosts in terms of infrastructural development, and provision of Social amenities such as education and health services.
From the Amman Youth Declaration on Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security (4), its subsequent outcome, the UNSC Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (5) and Resolution 1325, now as 2242 on Women, Peace and Security (6), it’s very clear that the inclusion of the most marginalized and vulnerable groups such as the youth, girls and women become eminently importance.
YEI works in areas of peace building and human rights advocacy and mostly target the youths and women in transforming violent conflict in their communities. The significance of young people’s participation in security issues and leadership has been stressed enough by the UNSC 2250.
YEI is thus, advocating for intergenerational decison making and policies framing platform in which the young and the old work in an amicable synergy for mutual benefits
One of YEI’s areas of focus is Education and Research. Youth empowerment and community transformation can hardly be realized without engaging the young people in quality education and advancing the Research and Development (R&D) (7)The Sustainable Development Goal number 4 and its targets stress out objectively in black and white the ultimate importance of quality education for all (8) YEI therefore seeks impactful collaborations with the Academic community and Research Institutions in order to achieve much of its education milestones