“Youth need to be the beneficiaries and the guardians of the future”

ONLINE launch advertThe GEM Report will be holding the first ever digital youth launch of the 2016 GEM Report today at 2pm UCT. All are welcome. Please tune in to watch and ask questions during the digital launch from anywhere in the world.

The digital youth launch will be moderated by the GEM Report’s youth advisor, Salam Al-Nukta: “Education has been my cause for a long time, especially that I, myself, have been impacted by the war in my country. I would love to be the voice of many who remained voiceless and represent Syrian youth in this youth launch.”

Salam will be joined by young people from Pakistan, India, U.S.A, U.K., Kenya, Uganda, China and the DRC. Join us to hear their inspiring stories, and what they’re doing now to help ensure all young people get an education that is inclusive, accessible and high quality.


Vivian Onano, the Youth Ambassador for WaterAid attended a launch event for the 2016 GEM Report yesterday in Kigali, and will be joining the discussion from South Africa. “Access to education is a fundamental human right for every child. Unfortunately, that is not the reality. I am who I am today because of generous men and women who selflessly invested in my education, and thus am empowered, have a voice and able to contribute to the well-being of my society.”

15472133960_a696ac049b_oPeter Ochieng, Chair of the Global Partnership on Children with Disability Youth Council, is passionate about empowering youth with disabilities to realize their full potential. “I was born with Cerebral Palsy and later affected by polio after receiving an expired vaccine. I attend mainstream school throughout my studies; but the treatment I received due to my disability remained the same: I was always asked to repeat classes just because I cannot write, and every day I received a caning/banging my fingers with canes. When my mother tried to seek justice through the district education office, I was expelled from school. When I joined secondary school I experienced some relief thanks to kind classmates and patient teachers, and I came first in the school in the final O level exams.”

Peter hopes to offer some insights on how different stakeholders can best intervene to ensure that all persons with disabilities can have an opportunity to access meaningful education as a fundamental human right: “Everyone can study and learn, just the means and methods differ.”

David Crone has been advocating for young people’s rights in the UK and especially for their engagement in political, civics and citizenship education through the British Youth Council.


“I know the power of young people holding governments accountable for their promises on education,” said David. “With new development goals comes a fresh opportunity for sustained commitment to action and progress, and youth need to be both the main beneficiaries and the guardians of the future we collectively envision. I hope that the Youth Launch of the GEM Report will empower young people with the information they need to play an active role in the movement for high-quality, universal education and never allow the international community to be complacent.”

Join us today to hear more from these, and other, wonderful panelists. As Vivian says, “Our voices as youth matters!”


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