The role of the Youth in promoting Freedom of Information

Building any society has to start from its foundations: The Youth who are the foundation and future leaders of the country have a great role to play in promoting open and accountable governance. It is in this regards that ODESUDI organized trainings for schooling and none schooling youth at its head offices in Kicukiro-Niboyi-Kigali Rwanda. This training comes at an opportune moment as ODESUDI starts to establish access to information clubs in Universities, Secondary Schools and in communities.

ODESUDI has been training University students who are in holidays and none schooling Youth on access to information and their roles and responsibilities as future leaders in promoting access to information and accountable governance in Rwanda. The trained Youth are from different Universities and communities of Rwanda and who have agreed to work with ODESUDI in forming ATI clubs in Schools and in their local communities to promote access to information for the citizenry.

While training these Youth the Director of Programs Mr. Fredrick Hendrick Karanganwa informed these young men and women about the great opportunities that lie ahead of them if they decided to take access to information seriously. He told them that the world is a global village and it’s only through taking advantage of access to information that one can master his own country and the world at large. He gave them an illustration on the East African Community and how it is only through access to information that they can be able to engage or compete effectively with other Youth and citizens of other countries. But more importantly, he also informed them that they have a duty as responsible citizens and future patriotic leaders to promote access to information in their Universities, to their young brothers and Sisters in Secondary Schools and in communities they live in and which will transform into accountable governance, hence, sustainable development.

The Director went father to train the youth about their access to information Rights within the law and ministerial orders and how they can take advantage of them by making access to information request through access to information website and a toll free telephone 4636 established in partnership with Tumenye. He informed that ODESUDI will always be available to offer assistance where these Youth may need it in exercising their rights or to carry out their own access to information campaigns in communities and schools.
The Director appreciated the Youth for the commitment which demonstrated their eagerness in enjoying and promoting access to information.

Students appreciated the opportunity offered by ODESUDI to learn on access to information and expressed their interest to be involved in training their fellow students and other Youth in communities. Hence, this marked the beginning of establishing access to information clubs in Schools as ODESUDI will work with these Youth to push ATI agenda in Universities and Secondary Schools. The Youth said that it is important to have access to information and suggested to ODESUDI to establish inter-school debate competitions on access to information, and also within communities. They also appreciated the fact that access to information is power and that is why they are determined to push forward the access to information campaigns in their communities. They also mentioned that as the Youth with the desire to make contributions in various government forums and debates on government policies, access to information will help them to contribute effectively from an informed perspective.
The training end with the Youth committing to work on an action plan which they will share with ODESUDI for support in order to push the access to information agenda in schools and communities forward.