“This program held by UN-Habitat is a very unique program from which we have been able to derive, fun, happiness and many other benefits. We look forward to the many activities to be held at the Centre including vocational skills training…This is the first time that we have a Centre that is dedicated to the youth and run by the youth and addresses their needs” said Hussein Mohamed Salah, one of the youth attending the launch of the interim One Stop Youth Centre, as part of the Joint Programme on Youth Employment, by UN-Habitat in Mogadishu on January 14th, 2016.
With close to 200 youth in attendance, activities at the event included sports, arts and culture, and more importantly, participatory planning discussions for the Mogadishu One Stop Youth Centre. Led by Youth Leaders, trained by UN-Habitat in conducting participatory planning workshops, the highly participative event gauged the interests of all the youth on various discussions seeking their input on key aspects of the youth centre to be constructed including; the physical design of the space, the types of recreational activities to be held, and the vocational and lifeskills training they would like to be provided at the Centre once its fully launched.
The youth event was designed on the principles of a youth led process. Not only did the youth from districts across Mogadishu dance, laugh, and play football, but they also shared their ideas for a space tailored meticulously to their needs enabling for a truly collaborative and engaging process that empowered them through meaningful participation and put them in the drivers seat of developing a space owned by them in every sense.