The Global Youth Forum at the NACADA, ISSUP and AU International Conference in Nairobi, Kenya played host to 186 youth from 19 different countries over the course of five days.
The Youth Summit was put on with funds from the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau of the U.S. Department of State, sponsored by Colombo Plan’s Drug Advisory Programme, and trained and facilitated by CADCA’s Youth Leadership Initiative. The training team featured Robert Alvarez, Manager of CADCA Youth Leadership Initiative as well as Yvonne Stroman (Senior Trainer), Alexander Cook (Youth Trainer), Curtis Mark (Youth Trainer), and Fatoumata Conde (Youth Trainer). Logistics and administrative management of the youth summit was provided by Dichen Choden of Colombo Plan’s Drug Advisory Program.
The trainers led the young leaders from throughout Africa and Pakistan on a journey through the Strategic Prevention Framework, a model for community change that has been implemented by CADCA in over 25 countries and was developed to empower communities to systematically analyze problems in their own community and how to address them with locally produced solutions. The young leaders reacted strongly to the message of youth empowerment, community change, and inspiration. Through the training the young people created and presented more than thirty “Youth in Action Plans” which are community-specific, youth-generated plans to solve issues of substance abuse in their communities. Of the thirty presenters, three projects were selected to receive $1000 USD seed grants to implement their YIA Plans.
In addition, the impressive group of young people worked to create a UNODC Youth Statement on Drug Prevention, which was read aloud at the closing ceremony of the conference. The message resounded through the halls of the KICC amphitheater and represented a powerful and resounding statement regarding young people’s role as leaders in addressing substance abuse in their communities. Thanks to everyone who took part in this wonderful Forum!