Mr. Hamza Khaleel
Hamza, 23 years old, currently works as a Project Assistant in the Integrated Climate Change Strategy project for the GEF and UNDP and is also the Senior Programme Coordinator for Strength of Society (S.O.S) NGO and Sales and Marketing Manager of a local private company called HnK Investment Pvt Ltd.
When were you elected as a RYC?
What are the critical issues facing youth in your country?
Housing - Lack of public housing and due to limited resources on some of the islands, congestion in Male, the capital island, its quite serious.
Drug addiction - Narcotic usage is high amongst youth as young as 10 year olds - with Heroine being the more popular drug of choice amongst other age groups.
Abuse - all forms of abuse, but mainly sexual, physical and mental abuse.
Lack of environmental awareness and climate change issues.
Lack of involvement of youth in Policy Development, especially those regarding their rights.
Limited entertainment facilities
What policies/initiatives are being put in place to help combat these?
The newly elected President Mohammed Nasheed and his cabinet made vows to the civil society on developing youth focus and areas of interest. They have had extensive youth collaborations in their youth policy development where by our NGO also contributed. The new youth policy as well as government policy is very much based on reducing the drug trade and usage in the Maldives. Also the new housing policy focuses on establishing more public housing facilities which will help reduce congestion and over population in cycle, leading to many positive changes in society. New Youth NGO's have been initiated in dealing with young people and gangs and anit-social behaviour.
What is your message to the youth of the Commonwealth?
My message to the youth of the Commonwealth is to break free from social and cultural barriers which hinder their development and freedom. To take the initiative to lead and be the positive change we want. Express and be vocal on the policies and rights given in their respective countries to the youth. Think about the rest of the world and break free from the box that a lot of us live in. There are many brothers and sisters in need of our help. Realize the importance of protecting the environment and progressing in this changing climate in a nature friendly way.
Together we can change the world for the better.