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UN agencies, Rights of Child Commission launch novel initiative to tackle social problems

The head table at the launch of 2020 GenU youth Challenge. From left are: UNDP Resident Representative, Jairo Valverde; UNICEF Country Representative, Sylvie Fouet; and Rights of the Child Commission Youth Ambassador-Guyana, Jeremy Fraser (Tamica Garnett photo) The head table at the launch of 2020 GenU youth Challenge. From left are: UNDP Resident Representative, Jairo Valverde; UNICEF Country Representative, Sylvie Fouet; and Rights of the Child Commission Youth Ambassador-Guyana, Jeremy Fraser (Tamica Garnett photo)

THE United Nations Children’s Fund in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is calling on innovative young Guyanese, between the ages of 14 and 24, to come up with ‘game-changing’ ideas and solutions for social challenges they face, and submit them with an application to the Generation Unlimited (GenU) Youth Challenge.THE United Nations Children’s Fund in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is calling on innovative young Guyanese, between the ages of 14 and 24, to come up with ‘game-changing’ ideas and solutions for social challenges they face, and submit them with an application to the Generation Unlimited (GenU) Youth Challenge.

From the applications submitted, the five most promising ideas will be selected and awarded US$1000, along with mentoring and support for the implementation of the projects. Additionally the most promising solutions from Guyana will be further submitted to a global contest where winners can further receive up to US$20,000 in funding along with a tailored global incubation programme from GenU partners, to take their ideas to the next level and make a bigger impact for their communities.

In Guyana, the Youth Challenge also benefits from the collaboration of the Rights of the Child through its Youth Ambassadors’ networks, as well as public and private stakeholders.All of this was explained by representatives of UNICEF, UNDP and Rights of the Child Commission, when the 2020 GenU Youth Challenge was launched on Wednesday morning at the UNICEF Headquarters on Brickdam. At the press conference head table were UNICEF Country Representative, Sylvie Fouet; Rights of the Child COmmission Youth Ambassador-Guyana, Jeremy Fraser; and UNDP Resident Representative, Jairo Valverde.

They explained that the designed solutions should focus on development in the areas of education, employment and civic engagement. “Anything that you are passionate about, anything that you would want to see change or that you can make an impact on,” Valverde noted, as he pointed that there is no limit to the size and kind of project the young people can submit on.

There is hope that the opportunities afforded by the initiative will particularly be capitalized on by youths from Guyana’s remotest parts.

“From our perspective, every human being has talents and ideas regardless of gender, age, location, or ethnicity. The idea is to support young people, especially those in the hinterland and remote communities in Guyana, as well as those belonging to vulnerable groups, in piloting their ideas and development goals in developing sustainable solutions that can be scaled. As we work with youth and UNICEF, we expect to leverage the outcome from the capacities that have already been developed in Guyana,” Fraser related.

Aside from meeting the age criteria, to enter, persons must be in teams of at least three members, and submit projects that are new ideas and would not have received funding for development at any other time. Teams are also ineligible if they are already a registered company or a community organisation.

“While the results of this challenge will be the selection of teams for incubation and mentorship, this is not the only output of the projects. Our engagement will allow us for the wider mapping of talents in terms of where young people are in Guyana, what they are doing and what are the types of investments that they need for future cooperation. And specifically for the young people of Guyana, we encourage them to sign up for this because the time is now,” Fraser said.

If selected for local seed funding and mentorship, the teams must commit to implementing the ideas which could last until July 2020. If selected for global funding, the teams must be able to commit to ongoing implementation of the project. First launched in September 2018 in 16 countries, the GenU Youth Challenge is about helping young people to become co-creators and develop their own innovative solutions to the challenges in their lives.

In 2018, of the over 800 entries, 32 of the brightest solutions progressed from 16 countries to the global stage, where a diverse international panel of young and expert judges selected the top five global winners. The first global winners were teams from Thailand, Macedonia, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Pakistan; and covered areas such as “menstrual health for women”, “bringing education to remote corners”, “speaking out against bullying” and “from detention to decent work”, and “taking young artisans to the global market”. In 2019, the GenU Youth Challenge increased, involving 41 countries.

Source: Guyana Chronicle

Last modified on Thursday, 30 January 2020 12:22
Written on Thursday, 30 January 2020 Published in News Stories Read 254 times