Post-GEF Youth Forum
“ The Post-GEF Youth Forum was amazing, we got to network, connect and engage with people from other countries, even of countries that had not make the commitments and encouraged each other to write to the government to commit” – Participant
Building on the outcomes of the 6 Intergenerational Dialogues, NalaFEM hosted a 3 day “Post-GEF Youth Forum” starting on 12 August 2021 (International Youth Day), around the calling theme of “Exploring challenges and solutions for the implementation and accountability of the Action Coalition commitments”.
The aim of this forum was to further support youth-led accountability and ownership of the GEF process by amplifying the work and impact of activists bridging their experience to Africa and the global stage to share lessons and gaps. The forum was designed as an informal space where youth and youth-led organizations from the 6 Action Coalition countries were able to share the outcomes of the dialogues. The three day forum focused on Connection, Dreaming and Building.
The forum was opened with an intergenerational conversation between Ms. Bience Gawanas, Lawyer and Former UN Special Adviser on Africa; Ms. Sara Faivre, Action Coalitions Programme Manager and Ms. Anika Janes Dorothy – Member of the Generation Equality Youth Task Force. The conversation centered around the partnership and co-leadership needed between generations to achieve the commitment set out by the GEF Process.
Ms. Bience Gawanas rounded the conversation by connecting the GEF process with the struggle against colonialism and early campaigns for gender equality. She reminded the youth of the importance of working together across borders and continents. She further brought the demand for equality to the personal level, asserting that it is also a personal journey and struggle to realize and live with the realization that “no one can control your mind, your heart, and also your body”.
Representatives from youth organizations that were part of the 6 IGDs were then invited to share their own stories as to ‘what they are witnessing’ in the contexts that they are in and to speak to the 6 Action Coalition commitments. They shared their challenges and successes, and exclaimed that: