My participation in the ICGLR Heads of State Summit on promoting youth employment

After being elected as one of the Ambassadors for the Great Lakes Region children’s Hope Forum in Bujumbura, I went to Nairobi (Kenya) on Tuesday 22nd July 2014 to participate in the ICGLR special summit on the promotion of youth employment through infrastructure development and investment promotion.

Having only received the invitation to participate in the summit on Sunday 20th July, a bit later than expected, the only possibility for plane travel from Bandundu-Ville to Kinshasa was on Wednesday 23rd July whereas I had to arrive in Kinshasa on Monday 21st July. This situation forced me to travel by bus. Although the bus schedule listed the departure for Monday 21st July at 7am, unfortunately, we only left Bandundu-Ville at 4pm for reasons which are still unknown to me even now. This late departure made us travel by night for 13 hours, in order to arrive in Kinshasa on Tuesday 22nd July at 5 o’clock in the morning. In spite of my tiredness, I had to quickly clean up on the transport agency’s parking lot and at 8am, my UNICEF chaperone came to pick me up to go to Ndjili airport where we had to comply with the formalities of the trip to Nairobi at 9am.

In spite of the difficulties encountered during this long journey, we safely arrived in Nairobi, the town which hosted the summit.

For me, there were several highlights of this event, notably:

–          Meeting the other two child peace ambassadors from Burundi and Sudan ;

–          The moment when I read the children’s message in French in front of the Heads of State of ICGLR member states and their representatives ;

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–          Meeting Mrs Mary Robinson, the ex-Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General for the Great Lakes Region, who gave us words of encouragement and declared that she is proud of the children of the Great Lakes Region ;

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–          The session with His Excellency the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of the Budget of the DRC who represented His Excellency the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I spoke with him in terms of setting up a committee/parliament for children in the DRC and he promised me that he would instruct the responsible parties on the installation of this parliament.

–          Meeting other political authorities from the DRC : the minister of Labour, the Governor of North Kivu, the national coordinator of the ICGLR, these various meetings with authorities were a considerable comfort for me and encouraged me to forge further ahead.

The summit closed on a positive note, especially as us Child Ambassadors read the message of the Bujumbura forum, which contains recommendations which the Heads of State, through the President of Kenya, promised to take into consideration, and we hope that all the decision-makers to whom these recommendations are addressed will do the same in order to improve the situation/condition of the children in the Great Lakes Region.

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Deo

Déo Deo a 17 ans, il est enfant reporter et finaliste au collège Kivuvu à Bandundu. Il a représenté les enfants de la RDC au Forum de l'espoir des enfants à Bujumbura en juin 2014. Il fut élu ambassadeur du Forum de l'espoir et a représenté les enfants de la Région des grands Lacs au sommet Spécial de la CIRGL sur l'emploi des jeunes. Pour lui, être enfant Reporter est une opportunité qui lui permet de plaider pour l'amélioration de la situation des enfants de sa communauté

Déo is 17 years old, he is a Young Reporter and a student in final year in KIVUVU High School in Bandundu. Deo has represented Congolese childre at the Forum of Hope in Bujumbura in 2014. He was elected as an Amabassador of Hope and represented children from the Great Lakes region at the Special ICGLR Summit on Youth Employment. For him, being a child reporter gives him an opportunity to advocate on improving the situation on children in his community.

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