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Transforming Youth Transforming Sri Lanka

Transforming Youth Transforming Sri Lanka” was a novel initiative spoken, brought forth together by AIESEC in Sri Lanka to share, to work together on some of the most vital issues young citizens have not yet thoroughly thought about, and determined to work on. This wasn’t yet another common project of all sorts. This was in fact what its title “Transforming Youth Transforming Sri Lanka “literally words on. It indeed was to bring transformation, a leading transformation which we all are in dire need of. The whole Inception behind the concept of TYTSL was all about inspiring the youth. It was about getting them to be the representatives for issues we all face as one community, one society and as one whole world.Image result for YSF aiesec in sri lanka

AIESEC being a global platform for the youth to discuss on issues which immediately ask solutions for, manifested ‘Transforming Youth Transforming Sri Lanka ‘to be one grand step in empowering a larger crowd of youth to bring upon well perceived action. This particular initiative was no words but, a steering cause for the young leaders of the nation. How it was an absolute incentive for the emerging youth out there directed under the unique approach undertaken by AIESEC which is ‘youth for global goals‘ was incredible.

Youth for global goals as an initiative, under AIESEC in Sri Lanka accompanies the objective of educating the youth about the sustainable development goals. And this mainly led TYTSL to be one collective to bring forth an outstanding impact by specifically bringing into prominence three SDG goals which are barely spoken of: Affordable and clean energy, Responsible consumption and production, climate action.

So, why these three specific goals were put forth to receive more attention?

The 2030 agenda adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, having the seventeen sustainable goals at its core manifested how working for these three goals are strategically important to move towards a planet of peace and prosperity.

However, when concerning on the current situation of Sri Lanka, it is sad to observe, how we are a far cry from a well-developed country which is just at its verge on accomplishing many of the sustainable development goals.
Therefore, TYTSL being the first project of its kind aimed to be an advocate, to what we are in dire need to work for, for what we lack. But, most importantly to act for these three specific goals.

They took it to be their prime responsibility to empower the youth to work hand in hand to ensure the environmental sustainability, prevention of wastage of resources and strategies to combat climate change.
In carrying out the cause of TYTSL, it was important to create a bigger network of events distinguished from one to the other relying specially on engagement spaces and interactions. Awareness, understanding and action were the key phases in which the objectives of the project were delivered. It indeed was believed that in this way, a positive impact would spring up in the target audience.

And, the extent of the impact was absolutely evident from the two prominent events carried out in the TYTSL journey: The youth speak forum and the World’s largest lesson. Manifesting the concept of ‘inspire, engage and Act ‘Youth speak Forum -September was a milestone in the journey of youth empowerment and what AIESEC in Sri Lanka looked forward to bring in.

YSF was the perfect milieu to accomplish that deemed objective as young leaders from diverse sectors gathered to discuss how they could work to achieve the sustainable goals of climate action, clean and affordable energy and responsible consumption and production. Having prominent keynote speakers as Ms. Hannah Singer, Ms. Anoka Abeyrathne, Mr. Insaaf Marker and Dr. Erandathie Lokupitiya the event impacted a delegation of 250 young leaders.

YSF was followed by the next event WLL-World’s Largest Lesson.
How had this worked and what was its objective? Well so most importantly what is a WLL?

It is designed as a session to teach children on global goals, showing how vital is their individual thought and daily action to the sustainable development of the world. Thus, with a delegation of 150, WLL was held at the Sussex college, Malabe on the 04th of October delivering food sustainability as the topic. This certainly was a call for action. Most importantly, how the students enthusiastically engaged with the session no matter how small they are was encouraging.Image result for WLL aiesec in sri lanka

TYTSL altogether having mobilized a youth of 600, was a huge success. Seeing from its entirety, this wasn’t just about motivation or encouragement, but leading a larger part of the youth for transformation. A transformation that matters, a change which lasts. A change which contributes.

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Climate change is not some far-off problem,it awaits our attention,our action.

“Climate Change is no longer some far-off problem-it is happening here,it is happening now!”(Barack Obama-The former president-USA)

This isn’t definitely another mere statement on climate change.No! This is a call for action! It is about one important global issue which exists hidden to the ordinary life that we perceive. This call for action,this encouragement is a provocation to wake up the youth of our time. It is to foster climate resilience in anyway possible. And, to respond to the climate crisis happening around the world, to all the drastic global issues.This is to be more vigilant and proactive as a part of the youth.

Combating climate change~

Addressing climate change is crucial for the sustainable development of the global world. And we most importantly, should  focus on it in two main ways. How can we combat climate change and how to implement those strategies that we organize into action? In realizing, addressing it globally, then as a state and our individual plan are our first and foremost tasks,and so,we’re at least done with a plan.

And yes! We have the question of what people have been doing so far to rise against this situation. Besides, to see the causes pertaining to this goal. And how the current state of the world is.

In fact, there is no country in the world that is not seeing first -hand the drastic effects of climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions are more than 50% higher than in 1990.Global warming is causing long lasting changes to our climate system, which threatens irreversible consequences if we do not act.

And it’s evident that we certainly are not taking vital steps to minimize the destruction it does. How our own lives are affected due to our irresponsibility is sad to observe. The geophysical disasters which are 91% climate related killed 1.3 million people, and left 4.4 billion injured.

The wildfire in Gran Canary,droughts in India are more than sufficient to prove how crucial the climate crisis is .And apparently one climate crisis disaster happens every week as proclaimed by UN.

 Adding to that,the latest catastrophe which happened in Amazon is heartbreaking indeed. 20%of the oxygen that we breathe is produced from the Amazon rainforest.
It followed reports that the new Brazilian government was keen to open up the region to economic activity. And this is what worsens the situation. The people who hold the biggest responsibility have paved the way to this brutality and they are never accused.

The Amazon burning however drew a wide attention. Particularly, the social media activists’ reaction with the hashtag  #prayforamazon  was something to see.The Ella burning in Sri Lanka is again a warning to realize the zenith of harm we have done to the nature.

So, yes what can we do? What should we do as the youth-the strongest backbone of any society?

Seeing at what young activists like Greta Thunberg does,it’s a shame that most of us sit back and complain at whatever is just happening around.

There should be an influential strategy plan to start with.A plan which shows how vital it is to create awareness and educate the people about the danger of not taking actions at the right time.

As for the Amazon rainforest disaster, we can in fact do a certain few things which can have a long lasting impact. For instance, protecting an acre of rain-forest through the rainforest action network, reducing your paper and wood consumption , making your voice heard by signing a petition are all about creating an impact! This is just a few listed here, there’s a lot more we can do.

Being an active listener, a proactive young member ,pondering on what more we can do to make the world a better place is what makes the youth responsible citizens in a country and therefore globally.

We should not harm the serenity nature carries while being busy to succeed in the competition of life, because if we lose what makes the world beautiful and a place of survival, there won’t be any of its grace for us to live with. So, let’s get together and make an impact! It’s all about the effort that we put in! It’s all about how much at least one person does,to get all of this to a standstill.!

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Sustainable consumption and production for a green earth and a better quality life for all.

What does this goal of “Responsible consumption and production”aims to bring into the world?In fact,rather than this, the crucial part is more on as to how it could happen? This concerns mainly on the protection of natural resources,sustainable infrastructure,an environment free of population ,green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. So,if this is what it aims to bring what would that ensure us at the end of the day?
In fact,its implementation has the ultimate objective of achieving overall development plans, reducing economic, environmental and social costs, strengthening economic competitiveness and reducing poverty.
Looking at the current state of the world,material consumption of natural resources is increasing, particularly within Eastern Asia. Countries have begun to show up working agendas and certain campaigns in addressing the challenges concerning the air, water and soil pollution.
So Why actually is this goal important? Why should we put our concern on it significantly?
Should the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050, it requires the space and the natural resources of almost three planets to sustain a normal life cycle. And yes, surprisingly there’s only 0.5 % of fresh ,drinkable water which we can rely on for all of man’s ecosystems and freshwater needs.
Our actions, the exploitation, corruption and certain political propagandas which certain groups of people and authorities highly deem as favorable for their own personal intentions take natural resources as a source of profit. This is what certainly leads to the destruction of the ecosystems.
Land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, overfishing and marine environment degradation are all lessening the ability of the natural resource base to supply food. This puts to light how responsible we should be in our consumption and provokes us to reflect on the remaining resources and their protection.
So, the question still remains on what should be the sustainable plan taken to work towards this goal?
Reducing resource use and degradation, pollution along the whole life cycle should be one of the prominent steps to be taken into action which also ensures a life of quality and sustainability. Moreover we should significantly focus on operating on supply chain, involving everyone from producer to final consumer. This includes, creating awareness on the specific goal and the provision of the necessary knowledge through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement, among others.
As the youth, we have the potential to work on productive plans and projects such as campaigns which aim to trigger individual action on the defining issues of our time. People around the world will be encouraged to make a difference in all facets of their lives, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear.
Moreover, it’s one of our obligations, not only as the youth but as a nation to support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production.
Besides, making the path for a sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products is another important step which can be taken into vigilance. Phasing out of the harmful subsidies reflecting on their dangerous environmental impacts and consideration of the possible worse outcomes on the poor lot along with the consolidation of the developed countries should be taken into visibility.
With all the facts and figures laid down as that, it brings to light how unaware we are of the harmful impact our irresponsible conduct in consumption and production does. With the ongoing developing technology, the unstoppable marketing of certain products by certain companies followed by the easiness it has promised in our lives we merely have overlooked on how irresponsible we have become in serving the nature. And most importantly the extent of the harm it creates is just within the visibility for which our response is extremely negative.

 

As the youth we can be innovative,ponder on new steps to work towards this goal -responsible consumption and production mainly thinking of how importantly the individual plans can trigger and leave a meaningful impact and therefore a planet free of pollution, waste thereby ensuring a life of quality.
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World Mental Health Day 2019: focus on suicide prevention

World Mental Health Day 2019: focus on suicide prevention

The World Health Organization recognizes World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year. This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is suicide prevention. Every 40 seconds, someone loses their life to suicide. Each of us can play a role to help prevent it by making everyone well aware.

According to statics data of WHO, Close to 800000 people die by suicide every year. Furthermore, for each suicide, there are more than 20 suicide attempts. Suicides and suicide attempts have a ripple effect that impacts families, friends, colleagues, communities and societies. Suicides are preventable. Much can be done to prevent suicide at individual, community and national levels.

Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan. It is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally, the younger generation who is much needed to develop this world. Suicide occurs in all regions of the world. In fact, 79% of global suicides happen in low- and middle-income countries.

While the relation between suicide and mental disorders (in particular, depression and alcohol use disorders) is well established, many suicides happen spontaneously in moments of catastrophe. Further risk factors include the experience of loss, isolation, discrimination, a relationship break-up, financial problems, chronic pain and illness, violence, abuse, and conflict or other humanitarian tragedies. The strongest risk factor for suicide is a prior suicide attempt.

Much can be done to prevent suicide. WHO recommends four key interventions which have proven to be effective.

  • restricting access to means
  • helping young people develop skills to cope with life’s pressures
  • early identification and management of people who are thinking about suicide or who have made a suicide attempt, keeping follow-up contact in the short and longer-term
  • working with the media to ensure responsible reporting of suicide.

Collectively, WHO’s approach to suicide prevention is known as LIVE LIFE (leadership, interventions, vision and evaluation). This approach is the source on which comprehensive national suicide prevention strategies should be established.

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Youth Activism For A Better World

Today, there are 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10-24 and close to 90 percent of them live in developing countries. These numbers are expected to grow. 1.9 billion young people are projected to turn 15 between 2015 and 2030. It’s important that young people mobilize to realize the change they want in the world. In today’s context, many youth are concerned and informed citizens who can advocate for change and youth activism is increasing rapidly.

An activist can be described as person who strongly believes in political or social change, takes part in activities to try and make this happen. They step up to do something about an issue they are passionate about, instead of merely complaining about the problem or waiting for someone else to take action.
So whether you’re passionate about climate change, lack of awareness around certain diseases, animal welfare or even policies that affect you, you can take small actions to do something about it. But if you do need a push to get started, here are three young people who will inspire you to work towards your cause.

Malala Yousafzai

In 2014, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person in history to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – at the age of 17. She is known around the world for defying the Taliban in Pakistan by demanding that girls should be allowed to receive an education. Due to this, she was shot by a Taliban gunman while on a school bus.
After surviving, her passion didn’t waver. She went on to become an activist for young girls and women everywhere. Through the Malala Fund which was established with her father, she campaigned for girls to recieve an education. Today, she’s a student at University of Oxford, and continues to balance her studies and foundation work. She showed us that it is sometimes the voice of a young girl from a marginalized community which can be the much-needed spark for large scale global change.

Xuihtezcatl Roske-Martinez

Roske-Martinez is a prominent youth activist on climate change, who has started campaigning at the age of six. He made a powerful speech at the United Nations in 2015. He was just fifteen years old at the time and his speech became famous on social media. He talked about the world’s inability to take meaningful action on climate change.
He works as the Youth Director of Earth Guardians, a worldwide conservation organization that he founded. Through this platform he has travelled around the world, educating young people and inspiring them to take action. He has also worked towards getting pesticides out of parks. Moreover, he is one of the 21 people who have sued the US Federal Government for failing to act on climate change.

Greta Thunberg

Sixteen year old Greta Thunberg has motivated students across the globe, inspiring them to take greater action on climate change.
At the age of eight, she first learned about climate change and was shocked that adults did not appear to be taking the issue seriously. It was one of the reasons that led to her depression a few years later.
In 2018, she started skipping school and sat outside the Swedish Parliament demanding for their policies to fall in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. She inspired strikes all around the world and wasn’t afraid to challenge the status quo. In March 2019, she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Now that she is active on climate, she is no longer lonely, silent or depressed. She is too busy trying to make a difference.

 

 

 

 

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