The members comprising the Vincentian Family at the UN have had a very busy 2021 so far. A very active time for NGO UN participation, we have planned, sponsored and participated in virtual events for the Commission on Social Development, the Commission on the Status of Women and most recently, the ECOSOC Youth Forum.
The annual Youth Forum provides a global platform for a candid dialogue among Member States and young leaders from around the world on solutions to challenges affecting youth wellbeing. It also serves as a unique space for young people to share their vision and actions as well as to provide youth perspectives on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
Never an organization to use a minimum of words in a title, the UN 2021 Forum’s discussions were guided by the overall theme of the 2021: “Sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, that promotes the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: Building an inclusive and effective path for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development
Youth leaders from around the world had the opportunity to engage with government representatives, youth delegates, policymakers and other relevant stakeholders in civil society and the private sector.
In addition to our UN collaborative group: International Association of Charities (AIC), Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Congregation of the Mission, International Confederation of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, and Sisters of Charity Federation, we benefited from the input and experiences of the FAMVIN Homeless Alliance and Niagara University in constructing this program.
The substance of our event entitled” Homes First: Strategies to Promote Youth Empowerment Post Covid-19” highlighted the stories of two youth who had experienced homelessness and found supportive systems to connect to education and training leading to employment. A young man in Kitale Kenya was forced to choose street homelessness because of family dissolution and found support through the Upendo Street Children Project Drop-in Centre and is now enrolled in a government-sponsored two-year catering course. A DePaul University student in Chicago found herself with home insecurity and couch surfing among friends or sleeping in her car until she connected with the DAX program. She has graduated and is employed. In addition, two Niagara University students presented their research into developing future policy to address youth experiencing homelessness, involving web-based technology that connects these youth and vulnerable populations to proper resources. They proposed a policy that partners with social media, organizations, and government.
We thank all of our Vincentian friends who contributed so much time and energy to this project.
The recording is available to view at Video Recording of Vincentian Family/U.N. #Youth2030 Event – FAMVIN NewsEN
Natalie Boone is the AIC NGO Representative to UN-NY