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Running for youth rights

International Youth Day celebrations took on an exceptional twist this year: almost 200 young girls and boys between the ages of 7 and 17 ran through the streets of Qalamoun, North Lebanon, in a 2K race to promote the power of sports and unity.

UNFPA Lebanon and RET Liban partnered with the Beirut Marathon Association to organize the Right2Run race on August 18, bringing youth together against all odds and despite all differences. Right2Run is a series of free-entry races dedicated to youth in underprivileged areas across Lebanon.

 “I really enjoyed running the marathon with my friends. We had fun running and we didn’t give up at all,” said Kinda.

Her brother Amjad was also excited that he got to run with his friends.

“I loved the marathon and I had so much fun, the atmosphere was great. Thank you so much for making us so happy,” he said.

The marathon was part of a joint project between UNFPA Lebanon and RET Liban to promote gender equality and raise awareness about the negative consequences of child marriage. The three-year project, funded through the generous contribution of the Government of Canada, has reached more than 10,000 men, women and young people with the right information and services.

The International Youth Day, celebrated every year on August 12, is an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in promoting human rights and development. UNFPA Lebanon advocates for the rights of young people, including their right to accurate information and services related to sexual and reproductive health and their right to play a role in decisions affecting them.