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August 2020
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Youth UPF

International Youth Day Celebrated with March and Rally

International Youth Day activities in Kenya began at the Peace Embassy Hall on August 12 and continued with a procession to Uhuru Park in the heart of Nairobi. The theme chosen for this UN celebration day was: "Youth and Climate Change: Take Action Now."

The morning program involved dozens of international leaders who had come to Kenya to help prepare for the Global Peace Festival at the end of August. Entertainment featured local Kenya artists, a special presentation by Mr. Darlington, President of Youth Federation for World Peace-Nigeria, and the peace choir.

The international leaders explained the importance of the Global Peace Festival and encouraged participants to work together to promote the Global Peace Festival's vision of “One Family under God.”

 

There were refreshments and snacks before the procession headed toward Uhuru Park, a well-known assembly place for political and religious gatherings in Kenya's capital city. The procession was a unique opportunity to call attention to the Global Peace Festival as the young people distributed fliers about their vision and projects.

Just before arriving at the park, the procession was blocked by the police, but they allowed the youth to continue after learning about the significance of the International Youth Day.

The master of ceremonies for the afternoon at the park was Easter Amunga, a senior journalist with KTN, the Kenya Television Network. She created a high spirit for a program that included speakers from UN Habitat and the Kenya Ministry of Youth as well as Duncan Mwanyuba, a lawyer representing the Global Peace Festival. Speakers emphasized the importance of positive role models and building strong character. These are timely issues in Kenya, where there has been widespread student unrest in the past month, including strikes at 300 secondary schools.

Many youth groups performed, including poets, rap musicians, acrobats, and dancers. Everybody was invited to join in the large-scale Nairobi River cleanup scheduled for August 29 as a key local action step in creating a better environment.

Partners in the celebration included UN Habitat, the UN Environmental Programme, the Kenya Counseling Mission, the Kenya Centre for Youth Development and Educational Media, and the Nairobi Baptist Church.

"Young people, who are adept at spreading new habits and technologies, are well placed to contribute to the fight against climate change," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message marking this year's International Youth Day. “Youth should therefore be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making at local, national and global levels." The International Youth Day was established by the UN in 1999.

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