UNOPS

11/08/2016

Future Leaders

This year’s International Youth Day focuses on the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through consumption and production.

To support this day, we're highlighting how we help youth break down barriers in Sri Lanka.

Children and young people make up nearly a quarter of Sri Lanka's population. Their perspective is a powerful influence in shaping the future of the country.

​Under the European Union Support to District Development Programme, UNOPS is helping educate and sensitize youth on sustainable development through community awareness and participation campaigns. Our teams work closely with schools and other youth groups to build awareness on the important role young people play in bringing about meaningful change.

An event in Mannar, for example, featured a competition where school children and youth created art and handicrafts out of everyday waste. A public exhibition, met with much enthusiasm, later displayed over 200 creations from the contest.

Similarly, in Vavuniya, an event showcased art and useful items made from waste, created by 150 students from 60 schools. Children and youth also presented cultural dances and theatre performances elaborating on environmental themes.

In Kattankudy, UNOPS helped educate school children and youth through programmes in school. Competitions were organized to encourage them to think of different ideas for waste management in their local context. They were taught to apply the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle concepts and now help contribute to sustainable waste management in the district.

Efforts like these will help safeguard the needs of future generations. Decreasing consumption and minimizing waste and pollution is critical to achieving equitable socioeconomic development.

Events to commemorate International Youth Day 2016 will take place all over the world. We invite you to learn more about this day, first celebrated over three decades ago. Visit the United Nations event page​ and get inspired to take part in the celebrations.