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Youth Month: empowering our young citizens

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YLC members at their annual retreat

The YouLead-Collective (YLC) realizes the significance of National Youth Day and the celebration of the nation’s youth during the month of June. We join South African youth in the commemoration of this day as we pay tribute to the gallant sons and daughters of South Africa who took justice to the streets of Soweto.

The achievement of a democratic dispensation does not mean the work is done and the journey completed. The YLC aims to continue the proud legacy of previous generations through its youth-led initiatives in advocating for climate justice.

YLC aims to empower youth leaders from South Africa to constructively engage on climate-related issues at local, national and international levels. This is important because the future of our country lies in the hands of the youth and therefore, they should be involved in the decision making processes that will affect or dictate their futures. For more on the YLC visit their blog: http://youleadcollective.org/

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Developing a work strategy can be fun too

YouLead Collective: What’s happening now – Three Day Retreat to forge the YLC Strategy

The YLC held its first retreat for the year at a farm just two hours outside of Cape Town. We were able to bring in members from various provinces across the country, namely, Gauteng, Limpopo, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. We currently have an active membership of 25 members, all of whom were able to take part in the retreat. Our presence on social media is steadily rising, and membership applications are on the rise too, with applications from around the country. We urge you to join us if you consider yourself a youth leader and are between the ages of 18 -30 years.

At the retreat, we had the opportunity to meet and mingle with the entire collective from around South Africa. This brought us closer together as a team, and provided an opportunity to learn more about our comrades. One of the objectives of the retreat was to develop a work strategy for the next six months. Our aim for 2014 is to engage in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiation process, and be informed on the latest developments of the various working groups. We also worked on establishing our position as the YLC with regards to issues such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UNFCCC and finally, to clarify all of the roles and responsibilities of the members.

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The YLC currently has 25 active members

Since this was the first meeting with all of the participating YLC members, over the course of the weekend we all grew closer to one another in our work and in our personal capacities. Together we worked on how best to take the YLC forward and how we can best leverage off each others’ networks so as to meet our goals and objectives, come year end.

As the YLC, we are very much looking forward to the work ahead of us. We left the retreat with a mixed bag of emotions, from excitement to nervous and a sense of relief. We are energised and excited to make our mark on the various climate justice issues, ready to put minds to work and to implement all of the plans we worked on at the retreat.

Head to our website or our social media page(https://twitter.com/YouLead_Collect & www.facebook.com/YouLead-Collective) to learn more about the YLC.

Blessing Mutiti – You-Lead Collective Intern

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