A few weeks ago I was in Yokohama, Japan attending 5th Asian Youth Forum as a back-to-back event to the 50th ADB Anual Meeting. The main objectives of the 5th Asian Youth Forum were to celebrate ADB’s work with youth in support of ADB’s 50th anniversary as well as to understand of youth development issues in the region and recognize youth contributions and competitive advantage in development as partners in achieving the SDGs. During the forum, we were provided with sessions to increase the capacity of youth to ADB operations and to contribute with innovative and effective solutions to support future and ongoing projects. More than 150 young people from Asia and Pacific region were working on future and ongoing projects to involve youth for sustainable development of countries. I was working on ADB’s project Tajikistan water supply and sanitation to improve the livability in Dushanbe in a group of 20 young people. Tajikistan, in fact, has an abundance of water and that project we were focusing on the importance of water consumption. We were doing researches about water supply management and how youth can be engaged in this project and what are the action steps we have to take. After one week of working on this project, we presented our projects to ADB, ADB Youth for Asia and Plan International. Project presentation was successfully done and made an impression to the panelists.
In implementing this project in Tajikistan, there might be challenges:
1) Increasing awareness among youth in rural areas in an efficient way of water consumption; 2) Financial investments; 3) Geographical location of the country with mountainous terrain makes a problem of building the infrastructure to make water accessible to everyone. People might not be open to these changes. But luckily youth from Tajikistan and Central Asia are eager to make changes in their countries.
Based on YouthSpeak Survey’s Output in Kyrgyzstan, the main issues in my country which are Quality Education, Decent Work&Economic Growth, Good Health and Well-being. These goals were raised by youth. Out of every goal, in my opinion, we need to focus on Partnerships for the Goals which is Goal#17. As being an individual or an organization, we cannot achieve all of these goals alone. That’s why I want everyone to focus on Partnerships for the Goals to achieve all of these SDGs together by 2030.
Having visited several countries, people whom I met think that -Stan countries are all the same. I want to raise awareness about Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian countries. How? By empowering people to travel and spread right and positive information about CA.
I always tell my colleagues and friends, “Don’t wait for someone or something to start something. You can start by yourself. Don’t wait for a right moment to take an action. If you are thinking to start something don’t wait for a call. Start with the small steps and always keep moving forward”.