Church of Scientology Pretoria Hosts 3rd Annual African Youth Union Summit
Summit urges action to empower the African people.
Public officials and NGOs joined African Youth Union (AYU) delegates at the Church of Scientology Pretoria October 17-18 for the 3rd annual African Youth Union Summit. The theme of this year’s program was “On the Road to Action: Moving Beyond Pan-Africanism Rhetoric.”
The summit was co-sponsored by African Youth Union and Youth for Human Rights, the human rights education initiative supported by the Church of Scientology.
AYU President Tim Mugerwa welcomed the delegates, speakers and distinguished guests.
The purpose of this year’s AYU summit was to motivate action to empower African youth. Nearly 65 percent of the population of Africa is below the age of 35. More than 34 percent are between the ages 15-35. Each year, some 10 million young African youth arrive on the labor market.
Despite the continent’s wealth in human and natural resources, 18 African nations rank among the lowest 20 in the 2013 International Human Development Index, a listing based on a composite statistic reflecting life expectancy, education and income.
Speakers and panelists addressed these and other human rights issues. At the end of the conference, delegates and guests presented their plans for carrying out the purpose of the summit. Their stated interests and plans reflected the diversity of backgrounds and priorities of those attending:
Major concerns included:
- To address problems of African countries backing rebels to commit crimes and violence
- To provide youth with a sense of humanity and hospitality regarding migration issues.
- To stand together as one, as the leaders of tomorrow, to make a difference so that Africa can be a better place for all Africans.
Delegates decided to become involved or increase their commitment to a wide variety of projects as reflected in these statements:
- “Education is a very important tool that needs to be promoted and encouraged from home, school and in the society at large.”
- “I have realized that there is need to integrate a human rights component to the youth leadership programs that I run—a holistic approach is what African youth need for them to be empowered.”
- “Because I’m in university I would like to work with my fellow students. One of our goals is to start a sustainable clean-up campaign in our local township.”
- “Mentoring programs at an orphanage, dealing with children’s self-esteem, self-respect, human rights, responsibility, literature/education and the arts.”
- “I want to dedicate my free time teaching agricultural science in my village… starting small, then inspiring and spreading the word of positive change in Africa.”
- “Helping establish a better comprehension of the English language to the rural- and township-based schools around my neighborhood and helping with reading and dialect.”
- “I am going to start a co-operative in the fashion and textile industry with a group of young people focusing on embracing the African identity by using our own homemade fabrics.”
- “Starting a law students’ program... for students to visit semirural and rural areas and give free legal advice and put human rights in practical legal application.”
AYU President Tim Mugerwa ended by announcing that next year’s summit will take place in Kampala, Uganda, and thanking all who made this year’s program a success.
“I convey my sincere gratitude to all the delegates, participants, partners and guests who attended the AYU 3rd annual summit,” he said. “AYU is very certain that the action you resolved to take will have a great impact on our societies.”
African Youth Union is a Pretoria-based pan-African youth organization with membership across the continent. It seeks to improve the lives of the African people by imbuing young people with patriotism and solidarity among African people worldwide.
The Church of Scientology Pretoria, an Ideal Scientology Organization, held its grand opening February 23, 2013. Its facilities are configured to service Scientologists in their ascent to spiritual freedom and serve as a home for the entire community—a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift citizens of all denominations.
Scientologists on five continents engage in collaborative efforts with government agencies and nongovernmental organizations to bring about broad-scale awareness and implementation of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world’s premier human rights document.
The Church of Scientology has published a brochure, Scientology: How We Help—United for Human Rights, Making Human Rights a Global Reality, to meet requests for more information about the human rights education and awareness initiative the Church supports. To learn more, visit www.scientology.org/humanrights.
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream,” and the Scientology religion is based on the principles of human rights. The Code of a Scientologist calls on all members of the religion to dedicate themselves “to support true humanitarian endeavors in the fields of human rights.”