Young people in Yei plant trees, participate in a clean-up drive at local hospital for Youth Day

UNMISS south sudan youth peace security yei youth day volunteerism

Some 50 young people in Yei commemorated last week's International Youth Day by volunteering to plant trees and clean up hospital premises. Photo by Surur Ali Aliye/UNMISS.

17 Aug 2021

Young people in Yei plant trees, participate in a clean-up drive at local hospital for Youth Day

Surur Ali Ayile

Last week’s International Youth Day found great support among young people in Yei.

Some 50 youth came together in a voluntary clean-up campaign to clear the premises of Yei Referral Hospital of garbage and waste. These dynamic youngsters also planted trees around the hospital gardens and nearby streets. The main aim: To come together in creating a clean, hygienic environment for patients.

“It’s the first time that I am volunteering,” says 21-year-old Ana Senya, a student. “I have to say that I’ve met a lot of like-minded people and it’s been a great day doing something that comes from the heart.”

Ana’s words are echoed by another youth volunteer, Yunis Adia. “As young people, we are responsible for forging a more prosperous future for our country,” says Yunis. “I believe there is no better way to express ourselves than join to support our communities. We must take collective responsibility for everybody around us and this clean-up campaign is exactly the sort of activity that young people can both own as well as sustain. It benefits all of us.”

Eva Joan, a resident of Yei town, agrees. “There is nothing quite like volunteerism. As youth we have a duty to show that we can be future leaders and work for the betterment of our own communities. I think we should continue such engagements across Yei regularly,” she avers.

For his part, Lokosang Charles, Interim Chair of the Youth Association, says he believes that the spirit and solidarity demonstrated by young volunteers is a sign of peace in Yei. “This activity demonstrates peace and unity in the area,” he states emphatically.

Participating youth were joined by peacekeepers from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as well as members of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) and commended by Aggrey Cyrus Kanyi, County Commissioner.

“This venture organized by young people isn’t just helpful for the community but also motivates all of us to do our bit for the people we serve,” said Mr. Kanyi. “I appreciate the drive and energy brought by our young volunteers and I hope we can sustain such activities all year around.”

International Youth Day is commemorated annually on 12 August.