Plan International Ireland is delighted to announce a new partnership with the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and Plan International Sri Lanka to equip young people to become active citizens and engage in the decision making processes that affect their lives and futures.
Over the next 24 months, until December 2017, 160 young people from two districts, Moraragala and Anuradapura, will be provided with the skills to understand and engage with local institutions. They will also be supported to implement youth-led advocacy stratefues to both monitor government performance, and to hold public officials to account for their decisions.
To ensure the sustainability of the project, Plan International Sri Lanka will work with 255 youth representatives of the National Youth Parliament to provide them with better advocacy and policy influencing skills.
Sri Lanka is an island-country located to the south west of the Indian sub-continent. Following the recent civil war, significant economic progress has been made with poverty levels falling by 50% to 7%.
With nearly 1 in 4 (4.4 million) Sri Lankans aged less than 25 years of age, young people should have a major role to play in the future of their country.
However, despite their large numbers, young people and, in particular, their ideas, are not being taken into account when decisions that affect their lives are being made by national and local decision-makers. Youth unemployment which currently stands at 20% is four times the national average, with young girls facing even higher levels of unemployment and early marriage (12% before their 18th birthdays).