The Centre for Coordinating of Youth Activities and the Network Movement for Justice and Development are currently implementing a project that is designed to facilitate the review of the national youth policy that was due for review since 2006.
The consultation is targeting stakeholders from different levels as a preliminary approach to have a standard document covering youth’s status in the society. The policy is at creating a level playing field for youths to actualize their fullest potentials, and to meaningfully contribute to the development of the country as responsible citizens.
The preliminary consultation on the National Youth Policy commenced over the weekend at the National Stadium hostel, Youth Employment Secretariat conference hall. A cross section of youths serving agencies attended the meeting and officials from the UNDP Youth Secretariat and officials of the ministry of Education Youth and Sports.
Addressing participants of the consultative meeting, Shirley Sia Simbo from the Network Movement for Justice and Development briefly gave an overview of their activities in the country, which she said was geared towards capacity building of youths to be able to engage government authorities in mainstream activities.
She added that her organization also empowered youths to effectively influence policy change at national level, she noted that a base line survey was conducted and proved that the youth policy needed a review to highlight the liveliness of youths to enable them participate in the planning budgeting and implementation of developmental programs.
Sia Simbo intimated that her unit was currently based in Kenema Eastern Sierra Leone and that CCYA was working in close collaboration with her organization to implement some of the policies and other youth groups in the country.
The director of Youths, Anthony Koroma, also made mention of the need to review the youth policy as it was drafted during the transition period just after the war, adding that the youth policy properly defined youths
He however noted that considering the current level of economic and social development in the country it was indeed necessary for the review of the drafted youth policy because the government was now formulating the establishment of a Youth Commission.
Mr Koroma urged youth serving agencies to consult the grassroot youths for their input and also commended CCYA and NMJD for taking the bold to step in advocating and facilitating the review of the youth policy but advised them to incorporate religious ethics.
He also encouraged the youth to form part of the National Steering Committee that would facilitate the consultations and the drafting of the policy for submission.
Ngolo Katta of CCYA appealed to the director to involve active youths in the establishment of the Youth Commission and promised to solicit inputs from youths across the country during the designing for proper representation, as it was geared to seek the welfare of youths in the country.
Similar statements were made by various youth groups during the consultative meeting and a consultative team was set up to take the consultation to the provinces for their inputs.