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Lack of Spaces - IYP 2004 Speach Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Mateus Fernandes, Brazil Jul 27, 2004
Child & Youth Rights   Opinions


Lack of Spaces - IYP 2004 Speach I’m supposed to be here to talk to you about “lack of spaces for youth voices to be heard”. I know some of you know that it’s a real problem nowadays, but all that I want is a solution for this problem.

All of us want to be heard. How can we improve our actions to build a place where youth voices, as all the other voices, can be heard? And, more than that can be respected and expected? So, in stead of talking about the problems, I would like to talk about some solutions. Let’s see the positive aspects. Let’s feel the positive vibration.

Well, I’ve been participating all these days of the Action Area Group called “Youth Culture and Empowerment”. It was a great opportunity to listen to creative and powerful solutions for the problem of the lack of spaces. I will try, in the next three minutes, to summarize the discussions, and solutions, of our group.

I can see three different points of view, a hundred of different solutions, thousands of different possibilities to act. The fist of them is about art. But we can say it’s about body expression and cultural activities.

When young people use their bodies, their culture, to express themselves and their views of the whole society, I’m sure they can create powerful spaces, where the youth voices can be heard. And, moreover, young people are an important part of society that, using their bodies and expressions, attracts adults, children and other young people to enjoy with them. When young people learn about their culture, they can better use it to be heard. When young people test their own limits (I’m talking about body limits), they too can better know the limits in general, of the society as a whole.

The second idea is about centers. When we create, and support, youth centers, we can better understand our needs and our possibilities to act for a social and positive change. When young people can meet, looking into each other’s eyes, they can be much more respectful for the human being in general and more organized as a social group. If we can organize ourselves, I’m sure, nobody can stop from listening to us. If we organize, we can have a better idea about what we should say. And then, they (the ones who are not listening to us now) will respect us, because we have a huge voice and strong and useful ideas.

The last, but not least, solution is about networking. Implementing powerful tools to improve the communication and the sharing of ideas is something that can be a creative solution if you want to be heard. And, if you want to help other young people to be listened to.

Why? Young people can understand young people better than anyone else.
We have the same spirit, although the parents of our parents have created geographical barriers. We have the same problems, although our governments insist in treating us differently in different countries.
We all have the same power to change the society, in spite of the fact that the society itself, sometimes, doesn’t know this.But we need to be connected to turn all these feelings into reality.

So, I hope I could have, more than just inspired you or talked about problems, shown some possible and real solutions for our most important need: the need to be heard when we’re being affected by those, and others, problems.

Where are these solutions? Just look around you. They are all here, at this place, at this time. And they will always be besides us, if we want to.

The future is ours!
Thank you all for listening.



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