Unguja CSOs strengthen 121 Youth Forums

About 121 Youth Forums have been strengthened in Unguja between the years 2016 – 2017, following the good work done by Civil Society Organizations which are based in Zanzibar.

According to the report produced after FCS monitoring and supporting visit, conducted from 5 to 13 April, 2017, the 121 strengthened Platforms were from North Unguja A and B Districts, West Unguja B District, and Central Unguja District. The CSOs which were involved in this initiative are Safari Development Organisation (SADEO), Mtandao wa Asasi za Kiraia Kaskazini Unguja (NORECSONET) and Zanzibar Association of Information Against Drug Abuse and Alcohol (ZAIADA).

Ali Shauri Ali, a Program Manager at NORECSONET says their organization had realized that there was little involvement of youths in decision making, thus decided to take a step towards empowering them by strengthening their forums. In Zanzibar, Youth Forums are recognized by a law which was enacted in 2005.

"Initially, NORECSONET staff conducted dialogues with youth groups during which they advocated the strengthening of the forums. The process was tough but through training, we managed to convince them to realize the importance of strengthening their forums," he says.

A NORECSONET employee, Khamis Khasan Kheri, says that after strengthening the Youth Forums in North Unguja A and B, the organization assisted them in developing project proposals in areas such as agriculture, poultry and soap making. "These are some project areas which we thought our youth could engage in and work on. They are now doing a great job. These projects are changing their lives," he says.

Nassor Mbarouk Nassor, the SADEO Program Manager, says that many youths are now engaged in entrepreneurship and SADEO has helped them develop projects in agriculture, livestock keeping and carpentry.

ZAIADA Project Coordinator, Masoud Juma Haji, says that the engaged youths had also received training on responsibility, human rights, the Zanzibar Constitution and youth international rights.

 

He says that ZAIADA has also provided entrepreneurship training to the youth and as a result, some young people have introduced various projects at ward level. Some are engaged in bee keeping while others are undertaking fishing and vegetable farming.

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