Home COVID-19 The Future We Want, The UN We Need!

The Future We Want, The UN We Need!

by Maurine Tukahirwa

Understanding harmoniously the difference between a need and a want becomes a very important aspect especially in the world of Adolescents and Young People. Bearing in mind economists have a well-articulated differentiation between these two words, it’s just fair that Young People get to know how to put this. The world is running so fast and it’s going to be hard for the majority of us to keep up. Just like in the army, there is always communication that puts everything in order- “Stop, listen and bow!” they say. Yes I know, we might not be able to execute it 100% however a 50\50 approach becomes the most outstanding. This, dear readers, makes SDG 5 the motherboard or call it the main server for execution of National Development Plan III and community development.

The New Normal!

We all have a different context and reflection on the new normal, I’m sure our siblings especially those that had just joined secondary school have quite an interesting opinion about what we are all referring to as the “New Normal.” Can any of us imagine just two terms in high school and boom, school is no more? Even I with so much bias about our education system wouldn’t have wished for something like that to happen especially not to the entire generation. I wouldn’t even start to imagine what pre-school kids have to say about this. Honestly, during our schooling days, such emergencies, however short they seemed, always made us appreciate the value of education. Had the option of home schooling been availed to us in plain sight, then it would have been a different story. Recognition of such opportunities must be part of the new normal. Universal Primary Education is one idea close to the above mentioned “New Normal” although, with the guidelines given by the Ministry of Health it, doesn’t seem like an option anymore unless the vaccine is approved and verified for use in time, come to think about it.

This period has made everyone appreciate existence, however, significant challenges like access to Youth Friendly Sexual Reproductive Health Services and violation of significant human rights couldn’t go unnoticed. Young people living with HIV have had it rough while accessing ART Treatment and contraceptives however, the pace of their quick adaptation is worth recognition and appreciation. 

Initiatives supporting the voices of Persons with Disabilities have been working effortlessly to ensure disability issues are included in economic recovery programs.

Women in the informal sector mainly the market centers and factories have almost become strangers in their own homes, that’s if they still have a home to go back to when this is all over. Not to mention the health risks they face due to lack of adequate Personal Protective Equipment.  

Local and grassroots organizations might not be able to see the next sunrise due to absence of emergency response plans for such unforeseen circumstances. We are all throwing a Hail Mary.

Digital Technology seems to have taken over space and is now seen as the new normal as well. Who knew, a mukiga woman would be patient enough for a week’s online delivery? Virtual engagements; webinars especially via zoom are beginning to take shape among-st Youth Movements here in Uganda with much emphasis on extensive privacy and security policies which minimize dis-organization.

The comfort and satisfaction Podcasts bring not only to an individual but to those listening in is undeniable. Not to sound like Genie in Aladdin, however in a situation where I got one last wish to fetch, every last Young Person out there would possess an internet technological gadget because its proven more essential with a drift paradigm shift that’s been marked in the past four months.    

Mental Health related issues have been significantly marked especially among-st essential workers and this is one of the most significant periods communities’ combined efforts have been appreciated. “Help a friend to help a friend” is the new slogan especially among Youth led and Youth focused grassroots organizations.

Special gratitude to Public Health Specialists from the different Health departments supervised by World Health Organization, the new normal has threatened to expose all those poor Public Health habits and so far, community responses have been very promising.

The Future We Want!

Such a statement should remind us of the power of energy and if well handled, the magic one can create. Change is always recognized as a result of conclusive masses converged to produce extra-ordinary energy, only then can you see a paradigm shift. It’s never made by just one person’s idea. If you’re out there and you feel you owe it to the right cause, then please join in. we are all so lucky to know that we’ve got the power to foretell our future and so it’s very important that you use the least weapon you’ve got especially when it comes to achieving transformational leadership. With Democracy written all over every political document, there is, what should be left is our will. We’ve all got one vote, let’s use it. Speaking from experience, I can with so much strength say, one vote can change everything. So let us be able to use that power wisely.

The UN We Need!

The UN We need is one that not only looks after citizens but also is in a position to hold leaders accountable for their actions. We can all agree Leadership is a gift but if no accountability is given, both at a personal, collectively and publicly, it loses meaning, Bottom line, what we all need is social justice, and respect for Human Rights. There is a moment when we go overboard with the power manifested in us. It’s understandable, adrenaline levels can raise sometimes, but we must be able to calm ourselves down. We might not be able to agree on everything but that doesn’t make us enemies, it instead should help us appreciate each other’s differences. Ideologies shouldn’t have the power to scatter us but rather unite us to find a common ground.

We’ve all witnessed how health system strengthening is a core value in our economy, and therefore it should be top prioritized. According to UN Women, 67% of the Health workforce is women. This should be evident enough on how much efforts women at the front-lines are putting in and therefore it’s only fair that these women especially in the informal sector be supported, heard and responded to accordingly. The minimal out of pocket expenditure becomes, the better chances we have in strengthening our economy.   

  • The UN We Need is one with ability to bridge the gap between the Central and Local Government to realize actual impact at grassroots.
  • The UN We need is one in position to support the continuation of Education to Adolescents and Young People amidst this Global Crisis.
  • The UN we need is one in position to support the state in provision of a stimulus package to women in the informal sector through start-ups and grants to micro-enterprises led by women to sustain their existence post COVID-19.
  • The UN we need is one that is in position to meet the Health needs of Persons living with disabilities in the far to reach communities.
  • One that is in position to increase the capacity of Non-Government Organizations providing Women Protection Centers to be in position for establishment of more centers all over the country.
  • One in position to extend technical support to COVID19 Gender Based Violence Response Team on the National Task force.
  • One that is in position to support the state in monitoring grassroots health providers and with this comes with ensuring timely payment of essential workers to reduce on the depression that comes with economic hardships in the current global crisis.
  • One that is in position to collaborate with corporate business-tech institutions to enroll more women in the informal sector with the aim of easing marketing and transactions.
  • One that is in position to collaborate with government to waiver taxes on women led companies to support their continued functionality and a resolution to under-staffing.

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