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International​ ​Youth​ ​Day​ ​2014

"A Serene and Healthy Youth, Lever of Development" 

The national celebration of the International Youth Day takes place from 12 to 14 August 2014 in the Urban Commune of Ambalavao, Prime Minister KOLO Roger, Minister of Youth and Sport, Jean Anicet ANDRIAMOSARISOA, Minister of Finances Jean RAZAFINDRAVONONA, the Minister of Population, Social Protection and the Advancement of Women; Johtle Eléonore; as well as the Minister of Crafts, Culture and Heritage; RANDRIANARISOA Vaonalaroy were present at the ceremony of 12 August 2014. 

This day is organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in partnership with different organisations namely; UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF, ILO, WHO, UNESCO, Reggio Terzzio Mondo, PSI Madagascar and TELMA. In keeping with the global theme of Youth Mental Health, the slogan chosen by Madagascar this year is "A Serene and Healthy Youth, Lever of Development", "Tagnora milamin-tsaina sy tomady, Fanoitsy ny fampandrosoana. " 

Indeed, untreated mental health problems among adolescents can have multiple consequences: poor school performance, unemployment, risk behaviours such as sexual and reproductive health, self-harm and even suicide - all of which increase the risk of mortality. 

Worldwide, suicide is the highest level of the consequences of mental imbalance and is the third leading cause of death among young people after road accidents and HIV/AIDS. In Madagascar, the rejuvenation of victims of stroke due to inadequate lifestyles is alarming. In addition, according to UNDP surveys with the National Youth Institute in 2013, 83.9% of young people are concerned about drugs and 81.6% of young people are concerned about alcoholism. Similarly, job loss, early pregnancies and their serious socioeconomic consequences for young mothers are all problems faced by young people. Early pregnancy affects one in three girls in Madagascar and leads to loss of opportunities, education, perpetuating poverty and denying basic human rights. 

"It is up to each of us to move forward in our long march towards progress, and it begins with you, dear young people, to take advantage of your youth because you are not only the beneficiaries of the actions that the state implements in your favor but both the actors the development of our country," said Jean Anicet ANDRIAMOSARISOA, Minister of Youth and Sports, at the time of his speech. 

The International Youth Day 2014 aims to highlight and reinforce the importance of Youth Mental Health, in particular through the promotion of youth, Life Skills approach that contributes to young people's behaviour change. Awareness-raising activities will be carried out in the community and in the Youth Centres to promote the wellbeing of young people and social cohesion, such as conferences on mental health, computer maintenance training, entrepreneurship, the screening of the film Dzaomalaza 3 and sports and cultural activities. Awareness sessions aim at encouraging young people to adopt the entrepreneurial spirit so that they can exploit their potential, as well as to strengthen collaboration with the "Friends of Youth" services in prevention, care and rehabilitation of young people facing mental health problems. This event is also marked by the dynamism of the Inter-ministerial Committee for Youth. Finally, it aims to advocate against the stigmatisation and discrimination of young people affected by these mental health problems. 

"By improving and expanding the knowledge of these young people, we will guarantee them a healthy future and free of mental disorders. But it is also by mobilizing all actors: from decision-makers, civil society, communities, traditional leaders and parents, that we can bring about change," said the UNFPA Representative in Madagascar, Mrs. Agathe LAWSON.