On 6th February 2018, the Live Your Dream campaign came to life. For those who attended, it was a remarkable event, graced by the speaker of parliament of Uganda, Rebecca Kadaga, the Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Acheng, and many other dignitaries.
While the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Ministry of Health and partners launched it, they had one thing at the back of their minds; making the dreams of each person come to pass, for all to live up to their full potential.
In making the dreams of everyone realisable, we recognise that there is a segment of the population whose dreams hold more water than the others; the young people. You may wonder why; they are past the childhood stage where dreams are simply being formulated, and aren’t yet at the stage of adulthood where the hope of realising one’s dream starts to fade.
They are at the right stage, with the most well formed life desires, and they have the time and energy to achieve them. On top of that, as Dr Jane Ruth Acheng noted in her remarks, young people aged 10-24 make up 35% of Uganda’s population, a significant portion by any standards.
“Vision 2040 recognises that young people have the potential to drive development, as long as they are healthy, educated and able to exercise their rights” Dr Acheng noted during her speech.
To ensure that young people are healthy, educated and enjoying their rights and freedoms, Live Your Dream is hinged around four major pillars. Let girls be girls, address gender-based violence, family planning and teenage pregnancies. Books before babies, which highlights the importance of girls staying in school while receiving age appropriate sexual and reproductive health information.
With You(th): which supports young people’s innovative ideas to unleash their potential. Generation for Generation (G4G), which provides a space for young people and elders to conduct a series of high-level intergenerational dialogues to contribute ideas to Uganda’s socio-economic development.
We took time to travel around Kampala and compiled/gathered voices of young people, speaking out on their dreams and we were impressed. There is a young person out there willing to become a photographer, economist, businessman, lawyer and much more.
There is a young person for just about anything that needs to be done. Imagine if most of these dreams came true, wouldn’t the country have cut a bargain out of this campaign? Wouldn’t we have unlocked a new, youthful and strong generation that we would all benefit from?
Clearly, this campaign is the door to let young people’s ability burst out and shine. As Per Lindgarde, the Swedish ambassador to Uganda noted, we all need to join hands to reduce negative practices like forced marriage and gender based violence, so that Uganda doesn’t miss out on a significant part of the population’s potential.