The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi concluded his second day of the visit to the Dominican Republic, where he encompassed a string of meetings with youth and visits to youth organizations and schools.
In the morning, Mr. Alhendawi visited the city of Moca, Espaillat Province. He first met with the students in D Juan MA Contin school. He led a brainstorming conversation to bring out the ideas from the students how best to advance youth agenda. “One day I was exactly like you sitting here meeting with visitors coming” said Mr. Alhendawi. “The difference between the other students and me at that time was, some of us stayed determined to achieve dreams. Other people gave up their dreams. Make sure you don’t give up your dreams”.
Following the conversation, Mr. Alhendawi was interviewed by the Community Radio Station. He emphasized the needs of investment for youth in education, job creation and to create mechanism to allow youth to express their concerns and to become active participants. He reiterated the UN’s support foryouth development in the Dominican Republic.
Mr. Alhendawi commended the collective commitments and efforts undertaken by the group of local youth organizations in Moca. He visited AESI, a youth organization which promotes fundamental youth rights in a collective way through training and workshops. He also visited the Fine Arts School Moca which provides various courses for youth in low income.
“It is not enough to teach how to read, write, math and science. It’s also important to learn universal values which are represented by the UN; values of dignity, human right, justice, equality and coexistence. Work hard and make sure that you contribute to the development of the Dominican Republic” said Mr. Alhendawi during his encounter with the students at Liceo del Caoroso, a public high school which has achieved to integrate youth with hearing impairment in the same curriculum with students without disabilities.
Over 60 representatives from youth organizations in the Santiago Province gathered for a townhall meeting. It was addressed by a participant on the importance of art in youth community. He seconded that the role of art and culture should be highlighted in youth policy.
Mr. Alhendawi met with the Directors from local youth NGOs, including Accion Callejera, Caritas Arquidiocesana de Santiago, Casa Abierta and CEFASA. He was particularly pleased to learn about the Youth Council formulation in the region and the civil society’s approach to strengthen its relationship with the Ministry to implement public youth policy.
At the final destination of the day, Mr. Alhendawi received a warm welcome by Mr. Benito A. Ferreiras, Dean of the Universidad ISA, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary today. The Dean briefed Mr. Alhendawi on the University curriculum which is mainly focused on agriculture. Mr. Alhendawi pointed out the post-2015 Development Agenda will be officially renamed to “sustainable development” and commended that what this University does is a heart of sustainability and having a solid university in Santiago gives a better chance for youth.