Thirty years ago the world woke up to the threat of HIV and AIDS and made a plan to fight back. Three decades later and we have made great progress, but it still ain’t over yet.
AIDS is a leading killing of young people worldwide and 41% of people living with HIV and AIDS still don’t have access to treatment.
As part of the Global Goals process, the leaders of the world decided that we can end AIDS altogether by 2030 but this is only possible if we step up our commitments.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus which can lead to AIDS if not treated. You cannot get rid of HIV completely as there is no effective cure, however, with thorough medical care, HIV can be controlled. People living with HIV who are on effective treatments can now have a normal life expectancy.
More people are now receiving treatment than ever before. AIDS-related deaths have been reduced by more than 51% since the peak in 2004 and in 2017. 80% of pregnant women living with HIV had access to antiretroviral medicines which prevent the transmission of HIV to their babies.
Despite these statistics governments and charities have got complacent. We have the tools, like condoms and anti-retroviral drugs to end AIDS by 2030 but we need our leaders to make commitments to their promise to make it a reality.
This World AIDS Day young people across the world took part in events to educate each other about HIV and make sure leaders are committed to ending AIDS by 2030.
In the UK, to mark the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, Youth Stop AIDS partnered with organisations, community groups and individuals across the UK to hold the festival ENDAIDS2030. With over forty events around the UK, the festival raised awareness among the UK public about the UK and global HIV responses and inspire them towards the global goal of ending AIDS by 2030. Highlights included a Film & Activism One Festival in Sheffield, a pub quiz in Edinburgh and both our Aberdeen & LSE groups organising a week long series of powerful events. Youth Stop AIDS campaigners also had the chance to meet MPs and DFID Minister Alistair Burt at STOPAIDS’ Parliamentary Reception.
Youth Stop AIDS campaigners kicked off World AIDS Day by taking part in the annual Red Run where they fundraised to support our work. This was followed by AIDS Memory UK and STOPAIDS’ vigil outside the British Council where they unveiled the world’s largest red ribbon and hosted powerful speeches from women living with HIV, including from activist Angelina Namiba.
By Saturday night the UK’s World AIDS Day was celebrated through a finale music event in Brixton London. Artists including Dele Sosimi Quartet, Hejura and Erica McKoy were all out to show their support and party with Youth Stop AIDS campaigners.
In Uganda, ICS (International Citizen Service) Volunteers spent the day raising awareness of HIV and AIDS through community activities. They partnered with a local organisation called CARA (Community Awareness Response on AIDS) Uganda, who provide HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. The event focused on HIV awareness raising activities, including HIV testing, health advice, speeches to end stigma around HIV, sports, music and dancing. Restless Development staff were also on hand to assist community members with knowledge to end stigma around HIV.
It was a successful day which drew crowds of people from local communities. Many people got their HIV test and received useful medical information.
The 30th Anniversary of World AIDS Day may be over but the passionate youths fighting for the Global Goal commitment across the world are nowhere near finished. The Youth Stop AIDS Big Weekend is in Leeds, UK at the end of this week. Through connecting activists from across the UK, their annual event will bring together the creativity, radicalism and learning that we need in the fight to end AIDS.
Last month two youth advocates were at the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
For 8 days straight, they worked hard to advocate for the role of young people in holding governments to account for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - particularly SDG 5, Gender Equality.
Two Restless Development Youth Accountability Advocates, Aparna Agarwal from India and Aisha Matiko from Tanzania, came to New York to share the work they are doing in their communities, collecting data on gender equality and access to family planning to hold their governments to account on their commitments.
In Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, there is a new high density suburb named Ushewokunze (outside homestead) because it is located on the outskirts of the city. The suburb is situated in Harare Province and local media reports daily on the problems facing the large youth populations in this developing urban resettlement community.
Restless Development is facilitating a 18-month long pilot project, commenced in November 2017, that has trained, mobilized and connected young leaders in Tanzania and India. Recent global commitments such as Sustainable Development Goal 5 and Family Planning 2020 promise to achieve gender equality and to empower women and girls to decide for themselves whether when and how many children they want to have. However, these recommendations must be translated into action.
International Youth Day in August is always a busy time of year for us. It's also a time for reflection, for looking back at the incredible work we do. Here's a round-up of the work we do globally with young people. We're immensely proud of them and the change they're driving.
Launching in September 2018, Generation Restless are young professional leaders and entrepreneurs who are committed to using their resources, skills and passion towards unleashing the power of youth to change our world.
Generation Restless believe in a radical new way of doing international development and are proud to be pushing the boundaries for achieving lasting change. See exciting events below in New York and London.
Raymond has always been determined to start his own business. His journey began in 2013 when he joined one of our life skills training courses, at St Peter's New Church in Mbare, Zimbabwe. During the two day training, 50 young people, including 23 year old Raymond, learnt how to start and maintain a profitable and sustainable business.
We have launched a new powerpack to encourage and help young people to push for their active participation in their government's Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) happening this week - and to call on governments to generally do more to reach out to their youth populations on the SDGs.
HLPF is the main UN platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. It provides the young people with a unique opportunity each year to hold governments accountable for their global commitments to end poverty, inequality and climate change and provides us with a platform to call for strengthened youth engagement in all things SDGs!
Unemployment is one of the toughest issues facing young people around the globe, and Tanzania is no different, with 85% of the working age population between 15 and 24, or 832 thousand youth, being unemployed, according to the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics (2013).
When we talk to the young people that we work with across the country, consistently the number one thing they ask for is support to enable them to earn an income and to be able to support themselves. One cause of this problem is a gap between the skills employers are seeking, and the skills that young people gain from formal education.
Restless development Zimbabwe carried out case management training for Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) and nurses from the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) on the 27th of March 2017 at Omadu lodge.
Restless Development has announced its new Chair of the Board, Charlotte Eaton.
Charlotte replaces Martin Hayman, who served as our chair for just under a decade during a time in which Restless has experienced huge change, growth and an increase in impact through its work around the world.
Restless Development and Plan UK have jointly launched new guidance - ‘Guiding Principles for Decision Makers’ - to help leaders in the Commonwealth effectively and proactively work with young people on the implementation, monitoring and accountability of commitments they make at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
Restless Development CEO Nik Hartley is standing down after an incredible 19 years with the organisation.
Restless Development will take over one of London's most popular food stalls as part of a new partnership with Waffle On.
At Restless Development, our year has got off to a busy start. Here’s a roundup of a hectic (restless?!) February, from the launch of new youth-led research, to UN awards for our activists, to campaign tours to end AIDS and much more.
Young Sierra Leoneans are proving they are kingmakers not troublemakers in a new report, conducted ahead of the country’s 2018 elections.
A new youth consultation has highlighted a lack of comprehensive sexuality education across East and Southern Africa.
A Youth Think Tank has shared the challenges young people have in designing and using agricultural technologies, and they are not the ones that you might expect or that decision-makers are talking about.