SEA Youth Network Welcome Speech: Youth the Hope of the World

Children are the Future of the World. Youth are the Hope of the World

The destiny of our world lies in the hands of children and youth

The world belongs to young generations and we adults, be in government, civil society or the private sector, must listen to the voice of the children and youth. Now. Today.

My name is Alberto Cacayan and I am the regional coordinator of terre des hommes Germany in Southeast Asia. terre des hommes is a child rights organisation active in Asia, Latin America and Africa. terre des hommes which means Earth of Humanity believes that children and youth have the rights enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Children have the right to survival, protection, participation and development. Children have the right to inherit a safe, secure and healthy environment.  So peoples in the region and everywhere have no right to exploit, plunder and damage the earth in the name of greed and profit. Peoples all over the world have the responsibility to take care of this world.

The time has come for children and youth to engage actively in promoting their rights and protecting their world. Children and youth are not just passive onlookers or sufferers of what is being done to their world. They are not just victims of human rights abuses. They are not just victims of violence and exploitation. They are not just victims of trafficking and child labour. They are not just victims of environmental destructions and disasters.

Children and youth are actors, protagonists in the human drama of protecting and promoting rights. When given the space and the necessary resources, they are able to voice out their visions and dreams, and carry them out. They are capable to express what is wrong with the world and what they see as violations of their rights and dignity as human beings. They can make valuable contributions to make our world a better place—a more just and peaceful world.

terre des hommes is happy to provide the space for the Southeast Asia  (SEA) Youth Network to emerge from a great diversity of cultures, languages, conditions, issues and challenges.  With us today are youth delegates from 7 countries—from Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, and of course Indonesia. They represent various youth organisations from their respective countries. Yesterday, they agreed as objectives of their network: firstly, facilitate sharing of information on issues which affect them; and secondly, work together to do something about these issues, particularly on ecology and education.

SEA youth network links with the International Youth Network based in Germany, and with other regional networks in other parts of the world. Since two years now, elected youth delegates from SEA have joined conferences in Germany, in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, in the Philippines during the Regional Partners and in several countries in our region.

Children and youth in SEA are full of energy. They are courageous, committed, and capable of doing things which can promote their rights and help save our world.

We are happy to make this launching of the tdh SEA Youth Network together with the students of SMPN13 here in Bogor Indonesia. And we are grateful for the support given us by the school’s principal and teachers and the officials of the Department of Education who are here with us today. You do us great honor.

Please welcome the members of the SEA Youth Network, as we wish them success and joy in their shared journey.

Terima kasih. Thank you.

Alberto Cacayan
Regional Coordinator of terre des hommes Germany
Delivered on 4 July 2013 in Bogor, Indonesia