FIA Foundation joins global players in commitments launch

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Africa Youth Ambassador Oliva Nalwadda speaking at the launch.
Africa Youth Ambassador Oliva Nalwadda speaking at the launch.
Helen Clark, Board Chair of the PMNCH, called for 'multisectoral action'.
Helen Clark, Board Chair of the PMNCH, called for 'multisectoral action'.

The FIA Foundation has joined philanthropies and international organisations in pledging support to address major priorities for adolescents and young people.

A group of 10 global organisations stepped forward to announce and highlight commitments at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York alongside the SDG Summit.

The event was led by Fondation Botnar which has pledged $45 million to enhance adolescent health and wellbeing, through initiatives such as making cities safe for adolescents, fostering safe digital environments, and improving mental health and wellbeing.

Other commitments included MTV Staying Alive, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on reproductive health rights and gender equality in India; UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited initiative, which aims to create opportunities for 10 million young people through volunteering, advocacy, and green skilling by 2025; the Born This Way Foundation & Cotton On Foundation, with support from Prospira Global which focuses on mental health programmes for young people.

The FIA Foundation’s commitment is to build upon school area road safety programmes particularly in Africa and Latin America. The Foundation will support partners who have been collaborating in its advocacy hub to implement the measures needed to reduce road traffic injury and ensure safe school journeys. The work will aim to scale-up road safety particularly for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, advocating for further commitments from governments and development agencies. It will build on the commitments agreed by governments such as Botswana, Mexico, and South Africa in the build-up to the SDG Summit.

The FIA Foundation was represented by Deputy Director Avi Silverman together with Africa Youth Ambassador Oliva Nalwadda who made a powerful speech calling for action on road safety. She said: “Young people in my region have a strong message for those in positions of power: they want more than words, they want real action.

“At the FIA Foundation, we are calling on you to join us, and to support the evidence based life-saving initiatives that are saving lives in school zones and which are vital for our future. This is an issue which is essential for all development objectives – for accessing education, for health and for the planet. I call on all of you to listen to young people and take action.”

Helen Clark, Board Chair of the PMNCH participated in the event. She called for further commitments on major priorities for adolescents and young people. She said: “What is needed is multisectoral action. UNGA 78 is a historic chance for leaders to prioritize health and well-being. Building on this momentum, we are looking forward to hosting the Global Forum for Adolescents in October to bring together youth and adolescents, advocates, and global decision-makers to take action and strengthen financing and policy commitments to this important issue.”

Commitments were made during the CGI event titled “1.8 Billion Futures: How to Secure the Long-term Health and Well-Being of Adolescents and Young People”. The session was part of the 1.8 Billion for Change campaign coordinated by PMNCH, and supported by both FIA Foundation and Fondation Botnar among many other organisations, youth networks and young leaders. The campaign’s Global Forum for Adolescents will take place on 11-12 October.

Other organisations making commitments at CGI included: Surgo Health, Pivotal Ventures, & MTV Entertainment Studios on mental health; the Goleadoras Foundation with a commitment on empowerment of girls and young women; One Earth on the environment and mental health; the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) in partnership with Reckitt on water, sanitation and hygiene in Africa; and the Mariwala Health Initiative on youth suicide prevention in India.