A new narrative of hope
#227Talks is a youth-led forum that aims to inspire young people to unleash their potential
NIAMEY (Niger), November 24, 2018 – “We deserve a chance to participate in building our country’s future. We want to shape our own future, chart our own pathways and design our own destiny.” That was the call issued by young change-makers today in Niamey at the UNICEF’s second 227Talks Series.
This forum brings together youth activists, social innovators and entrepreneurs, digital influencers, public and private partners to spark dialogue on challenges and opportunities confronting the country’s youth today in Niger.
“We are living today in a world of unlimited potential. When we are prepared and empowered, we can use our energy, creativity and talent to turn an uncertain landscape into a world of opportunity,” says Aissatou Adamou Noma, 32. She recently was awarded the prize of Young Francophone Entrepreneur.
“Many young people do not have access to mentors, career guidance or the training they need to transition from school to work. Those who are entrepreneurs face barriers to accessing finance or business skills” Aissatou noted.
“Transferable skills – such as self-confidence, problem solving, teamwork and critical thinking – are essential to succeed in the rapidly changing world of work.”
For adolescents and young people, empowerment and the opportunity to have their voice heard and to participate in the decisions that affect their lives are particularly important for their well-being.
Along with the African Development University, UNICEF has initiated the #227Talks Series, with the two intentions of bringing messages of hope to the young public as well as showcasing to decision-makers the positive actions young people are already taking on various issues.
“If you believe you can, if you know you can, do it. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission. Make a plan. Find a way. When people laugh and call you mad, ignore them. They don’t know that inside each of you, there is the power to change the world. Have courage, have passion and dream big.” Says UNICEF Representative in Niger, Felicite Tchibindat in her address to participants.
Attending the Talks, HE Mrs. Lalla Malika Issoufou, Niger’s First Lady highlighted the need to reframe the narrative on youth and children in Niger.
“The current narrative on Niger are primarily focused on deprivations, inequalities and risks that youth and children face. We need a narrative that radiates hope and potential for Niger, a discourse that focuses on opportunities, linked to the potential of youth to contribute positively to its development and progress.
227Talks really serves as a forum to promote models to inspire young people to unleash their potential.
“People might not believe in you, they just see obstacles! Prove them wrong… Because instead of seeing obstacles, you see opportunity, the chance to do things differently. You are a generation of young people with the ability to create your own futures, to shape your own lives. When I look at you, all I see is possibility. All I see is hope!” concludes Tchibindat.