Happy International Youth Day!

August 14, 2023 10:06 am

First designated in 1999, this day is celebrated every August 12th to bring youth-related issues to the attention of the global community, and to celebrate the contribution of young people to growth and development. 

70% of South Sudan’s population is comprised of youth (http://bitly.ws/RDKz ). They are a huge resource, and if they are equipped with the right skills and opportunities, they will contribute to the country’s growth and development.  

Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS) works with youth across the country through support to all government schools, faith-based schools and low-cost private schools. 

Together with the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, (MoGEI) GESS organised careers fairs across the country to celebrate the 19th annual National Girls’ Education Day on July 7th.   

The careers fairs presented an opportunity for learners from upper primary and secondary schools to interact with successful professionals to learn life lessons. The careers fairs were part of the mentoring activities of the GESS programme.  

GESS runs mentoring clubs in schools across South Sudan. These clubs give learners a platform to discuss issues that affect their learning and their personal lives. Moderated by GESS Mentoring Assistants, these sessions help to build the confidence of learners and allow them to take part in creative projects and team-building activities. 

To mark Menstrual Hygiene Day this year, members of the mentoring clubs were trained on making re-usable sanitary pads. Over 6000 learners took part in the activity, which included both boys and girls. 

As the theme for this year’s celebration is on skills for youth, GESS encourages young people to ensure they acquire skills that will lead to employment. “You see, the youth need to know that self-independence is important. Always seek for alternative ways to earn money, like join a short course in a practical field like carpentry, photography, etc, and earn a living. Also, look out for ways to advance your studies, for instance after completing secondary school, do not get comfortable; look for scholarships and go to the university,” Florence, an economist and mentor who took part in National Girls’ Education Day festivities in Central Equatoria State.  


“Diversifying life skills and grabbing opportunities it carries along is a gate-pass to a successful life. Youth should embrace practical skills as an alternative to white collar jobs,” Christine, Country Director, Peace Canal and mentor who took part in National Girls’ Education Day festivities in Central Equatoria State. 

Careers fairs help the youth to get exposure to different career options and to access the advice of role models. “What I have taken-away from the careers fairs is the fact that anybody can be anything if they put their mind to it. Also, to hear that someone who had only one parent succeeded in life shows me that even though I have a single parent, I will succeed,” Lucy, a learner in Senior 2 in Juba.

As we celebrate this day, we encourage the youth of South Sudan to acquire skills that make them employable. As we celebrate this day, we urge youth in South Sudan to take their rightful place in the growth and development of the country. 

Happy International Youth Day! 



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