Thursday, August 7, 2008

CCF Makes Commitment to Support Youth in the 2010 International AIDS Conference

By Sarah A. Roush, program associate for CCF

A major theme of the International AIDS Conference has been engaging young people meaningfully in programs and policy. There is a large youth presence at the conference with a special youth program designed to help young people maximize their engagement at the conference and a youth pavilion designated as a place for youth to network. At the youth pavilion individuals are urged to make a commitment to engage youth meaningfully in their organization at the youth commitments desk. This concept was introduced at the 2006 conference in Toronto, where more than 350 commitments were collected from high profile officials, as well as NGOs and other individuals. Commitments are meant to be a concrete, time bound goal that youth force members will follow up on over the course of the year.

I was extremely proud, as a young person myself, to make a commitment on behalf of CCF today. I pledged that:

Christian Children’s Fund commits to supporting at least four child and youth leaders (from the 31 African, Asian, North and South American countries in which we work) to attend and actively participate in the 2010 International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria. Youth will be selected through a participatory process that is youth led and managed.

This stands as a statement of CCF’s deep commitment to developing young leaders in the community where we work, as well as a reminder that we must ensure that youth themselves are actively involved in planning their roles at events such as the International AIDS Conference. Over the next two years, the HIV team will plan CCF’s strategic engagement at the 2010 International AIDS Conference, which will include a robust role for the youth that join our delegation.

No comments: