Eurasia Foundation, Tajikistan

Forum on “Youth are the Drivers of Co-Existence and Peace in Society”

Guliston, 18 June – Today representatives of local authorities from Bobojon Gafurov District and Isfara City jointly with Eurasian Foundation of Central Asia – Tajikistan (EFCA - Tajikistan), and with the UNICEF offices in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are hosting a Youth Forum under the title “Adolescent and Youth are the Drivers of Co-existence and Peace in Society”.

 In the scope of an initiative on cross-border cooperation for peace and development that is implemented in border districts of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan with the financial support of UN Peacebuilding Fund, this Youth Forum brings together adolescents and young people from Isfara and B. Gafurov of Sughd province as well as Batken and Leilek districts of Kyrgyzstan. The Forum is aimed at showcasing the vital role that young people can play in strengthening social cohesion and intercommunal conviviality once they have strong peacebuilding competencies.

 The initiatives that are showcased in the Forum have been led within the of the youth project “Youth role in peace and social development in cross-border areas” implemented by public organizations EFCA Tajikistan and “Youth of Osh” in Kyrgyzstan. Activities under the project has built peacebuilding competencies and skills for innovation among 753 Tajik and Kyrgyz adolescents, supported adolescents in developing 12 innovative solutions for promoting intercommunal tolerance, engaged adolescents in two cross-border cultural exchange events, including media camp under the slogan “Messages for peace” that produced 15 adolescent-authored media products on peace and tolerance. “Peace and friendship do not have nation, colour and religion” says Ismailova Datqaim, from Batken district, adolescent participant of the cross-border media camp.

 Adolescent girls and boys from both countries took a centre stage during the Forum, leading sessions, moderating panel discussions, showcasing best examples of cross-border collaboration and also conveying message of peace and friendship with their peers and public from across the border. “Platforms, such as this Forum brings together adolescent’s girls and boys who become friends, learn about each other, come up with new ideas that in result contributes towards better social co-existence and inter-communal relations. This is how adolescent become agents of social cohesion in their communities and bring positive change” - said Khushbakht Hojiev, Head of adolescent Programme of UNICEF Tajikistan.

 By the end of the Forum, adolescents and young people from the two countries concluded that they, if given a chance, can play a bigger role in building social cohesion and improving cross-border cooperation through their active engagement and meaningful participation in the lives of their society.

Eurasia Foundation, Tajikistan