ChildFund Sri Lanka celebrated International Youth Day 2022 on 12th and 13th of August with its youth advocacy collective – Alliance of Youth to End Violence Against Children’ (AYEVAC). “Intergenerational solidarity: creating a world for all ages” was the theme at the thought-provoking two-day youth gathering. The district coordinators representing all 25 districts attended the gathering to celebrate International Youth Day which fell on 12th August.
Youth play a crucial role in the society in forming opinions and decision making as they are the next generation of community who will be taking the lead in advocating for any community issues. ChildFund believes as advocates, youth have more mobility to advocate for children as they have experienced these issues during their childhood and therefore are in a strong position to advocate for children.
Guest speaker for the event, Prof. M.T.M Mahees, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo, shared invigorating viewpoints on Youth and Society. He noted that today is the age and era of youth. He said, “Youth have energy and power. Life is a gift given by nature and society. Youth are a product of society. Youth should go before others, then they can see themselves. Youth should have healthy and balanced personality and they can save the life of children.”
Welcoming the participants Kaushal Attanayake, Child Protection and Advocacy Specialist, elaborated on the event’s focus in commemorating International Youth Day, alongside discussing action needed to end corporal punishment, AYEVAC’s role to create awareness and support towards strengthen laws preventing online sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
ChildFund Sri Lanka and Partners agreed on a plan to support AYEVAC to strengthen its advocacy mission to promote the concept of ‘Be Humane Towards Children’. As an initial step, ChildFund Sri Lanka will support the 25 AYEVAC district teams to implement a youth-led micro project in the month of October which is dedicated to Children. The objective would be to promote the protection rights of children and to end violence against children.
Rockshanthan AYEVAC District Coordinator, Nuwaraeliya noted, “Not many are aware of International Youth Day, thus commemorating the event will help strengthen our network and support in finding sustainable
concreate solutions for violence against children.”
AYEVAC was initiated by ChildFund Sri Lanka as a child and youth advocacy body to end violence against children. This includes preventing and responding to sexual, physical, mental and online abuse against children.