NCA Tanzania recently organised a "Youth Caravan" to amplify the important role that young people have to play in promoting peace and social cohesion in the Zanzibar archipelago.
Photos: Raymond Kasoga.
The aim of the youth caravan is to promote inclusive dialogue between community groups on the need to engage in peace and social cohesion, and the importance of implementing agribusiness activities to help generate income for the youth in Pemba.
The caravan was organized with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania Eastern Coastal Diocese and the Zanzibar Interfaith Centre, with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam. The youth caravan started from the South to the North of Pemba across four districts (Wete, Micheweni, Chake Chacke, and Mkoani).
The event consisted of sport competitions between the districts, poetry readings, songs, and demonstration of various economic empowerment activities implemented by youth and women. These events were also attended by various representatives from the Government, private sector, religious leaders, and the media.
One of the young people in attendance was Wardat Idd Omary from Makoongwe Island in Pemba. He comments: “Youth engagement in maintaining peace is crucial in ensuring sustainable development. This is because peace is a product of love, unity and justice. As you can see, we have a friendly football match between the youth from Makoongwe and Chakechake, and this happens only when there is peace and tranquility. I urge my fellow youth to love each other and engage themselves in promoting peace in order to build cohesive societies."
In attendance was also Mr Khamis Soud who represented the local government authority in Pemba. He remarked that there is a need to develop a collective effort to sensitize youth to participate effectively in peace and reconciliation initiatives. He insisted that young people were also needed in order to combat gender violence, including discrimination against women and children. “ I urge my fellow communities, especially the youth, to consider peace as a gift that needs to be valued“ .
In his remarks, Mr Seif Salim Mussa, District Youth Council Chairman from the Wete district said: "No country can flourish when there is violence and injustice. There is therefore an urgent need to empower women and youth economically so that they can participate in profitable agricultural activities to increase their income sources. When families are economically secure, it is difficult for them to be recruited into violence."
Various media agency in Pemba were engaged for increasing visibility and to help amplify youth voices on the need to promote peace and social cohesion in the Zanzibar archipelago.
Here`s a glimpse into what happened during the Youth Caravan: