The CAY4W network aims to empower the youth in the region, by providing new opportunities and establishing intergenerational dialogue for knowledge and experience exchange. For this reason, CAY4W members have been actively participating to various events representing the youth of Central Asia on national, regional and international levels.
One of the largest events we took part in 2019 was Stockholm World Water Week (SWWW). It is an annual conference gathering around 4000 water professionals from more than 100 countries of the world. Sadly, this world-leading conference on water has been cancelled due the spread of COVID-19, and while we wait and prepare for the SWWW 2021 we would like to remember our previous experience in Stockholm.
This year the SIWI conference was attended by the regional coordinator and 2 national coordinators of CAY4W forming one delegation with coordinators of International Secretariat for Water (ISW) and participants from Kazakh-German University.
Throughout the six-day conference there were held 277 sessions. Many of them were dedicated to sharing the knowledge of different groups, such as people living with disabilities, ethnic minorities or slum-dwellers. Other activities focused on how gender roles and power relations impact water distribution and its quality, reminding participants that in order to efficiently manage water one may need to challenge existing stereotypes.
During the conference 1 of 4 youth sessions of the SWWW “How can intergenerational dialogue facilitate youth inclusion in decision making?” have been led by ISW and CAY4W together with partners to SIWI. The session has paid particular attention on engaging youth from Central Asia in dialogue with experts and decision makers. The dynamic session featured regional intergenerational dialogues and asked hard questions about what is needed to reform decision making in the water sector and promote youth inclusion. All agreed that policy and decision making processes in the water sector urgently need to make space for youth engagement as youth voices, actions and solutions are essential to achieve the SDGs.