Eighteen year old Sarah Eid can be easily labeled the face of the urban future.
For at that young age, Sarah is already deeply involved in discussing matters that affect the place where she lives and also helping her peers to network and lobby for better services. Sarah was one of the participants at the World Urban Youth Assembly held on the sidelines of the Sixth Session of the World Urban Forum staged in Naples, Italy this week.
On her experience at the Forum, Sarah who was one of the hostesses at the official opening of the Youth Assembly says that she learnt a lot. “At first when I heard that I would be talking in front of all those big people I got scared. But when I reached the podium and realize that what I was going to talk about was what I have ben talking about almost daily all the fear was gone,” she says.
Sarah grew up in a slum community in Cairo called Torah, one of the of victims of neglect of the government institutions and officials. She says the place is deprived of many basic services and the infrastructure there is in a poor condition. Most of the inhabitants of Torah are poor, Sarah says adding that they can hardly satisfy their basic needs with only few people in Torah enjoy a relatively reasonable standard of living.
“As a result of poverty, issues like early marriage, child labour and street children still exist in my community. Belonging to Torah, I have always believed that I must play a role in developing it,” she says adding that she did this by joining a children club at the age of 12, a move she says helped her learn more about child rights and how to practice them.
One of the first initiatives she was involved in was aimed to progressively solve the pollution problem in Torah. Hence, it included several activities that aimed at awareness raising and changing negative practices.
“So, as a group of children we visited other communities and organized many activities to raise awareness of children on their rights and responsibilities. With each new action I took part in, my personality got more developed and I aspire to do more,” she says.
With time she is now an established activist and she says she believes that it is for the benefit of future generations that the urban future must be secured. Meanwhile she hopes to join the university and study journalism. “Journalism will give me a good platform to champion the causes I passionately believe in,” she says.