Ungdom fra Juvente talte for FN

, skrevet av Christina Babington

Styremedlem Sarah F. B. Jul-Rasmussen talte for FN i forbindelse med World Drug Day og lansering av årets World Drug Report.

Sarah er er sittende medlem i Juventes sentralstyre. Hun har de to siste ukene jobbet med en uttalelse til FNs (United Nations) CND Special Commemorative Event I forbindelse med World Drug Day, også kalt United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Under dette event ble også årets World Drug Report lansert. Under kan du lese den fulle uttalelsen som Sarah leverte til FN i dag.

“Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. Good afternoon, my name is Sarah and I’m a 21 year old woman from Norway and Denmark. I work actively in the youth organisation Juvente, where I’ve been working with substance use prevention 7,5 years now. 

COVID-19 has taken more from us than we’d like to admit. Where I live in Oslo I only have a small dorm-room. From being my place to escape and rest, it turned into a place of constant isolation and loneliness. I had home-office in that room, I slept in that room, and I sometimes ate in that room while working. Not being able to meet your friends like normal – the constant fear of not knowing if your friends follow the health guidelines or how many they see every day. Being confined to a small room took a toll on my mental health, and I can imagine the same for the students and young ones, but also the elderly who are in the same situation.. It affects all ages. 

I was lucky to have a good safety net around me. My parents helped me and I’ve been equipped with healthy coping mechanisms. Sadly, that’s not the case for everyone. Some might not have the support they need or the tools to gain strong coping skills. Some, as a result, may have resorted to substance use. However, we don’t know the full extent of the consequences of COVID-19. Research takes time and we can’t get the full picture right away. We won’t know until years later when we can look back and do the proper research on how it has affected our lives. That is why we need to keep focusing on providing people the opportunity to develop resilient mental and emotional coping skills. So that, in the event of future misfortunate situations, we are better prepared to combat the social and psychological repercussions. 

We all feel it. We feel it in our personal life. We feel it in our work life. We feel it in the ways we engage. In Juvente, my youth organization, we value the youth-to-youth method. Us youth engage with other youth to talk about prevention and active choice-making. COVID-19 took our platform from us. We are no longer able to meet other youth. We cannot have physical activities and are no longer able to connect with each other. Yes, we have gained a whole new platform – digital meetings. Yes, it’s great for most meetings, But… It’s not the same. I no longer feel the connectedness I felt when I sat down in a room with other youth. Sitting in front of a screen does not engage in the same way. My concentration is not the same. And are we even listening? We may be present – but are we really listening? I can only speak for myself. I am not 7 billion people. We need to keep researching to see how digital prevention programs work and how the digital school and work-life affects us. Only then are we able to know where to go from here.  

We youth are ready to help creating solutions. Together we can do more, so please work with us. Hear our voice. Thank you for listening.”

 Sarah F. B. Jul-Rasmussen 25.06.21