Foreign Affairs Department in the in 3rd quarter 2023

The National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS) is a continuation of the National Union of Eritrean Students (NUES); an organization under the umbrella of the Eritrean Liberation Front, established in 1978 in Keren as a nationalistic, combative, political organization.  Initiated by ideals of national harmony in 1978, it was established based on the previous bold movements of Eritrean students and youth organizations that raised nationalistic awareness and were the foundation of the armed struggle. After realizing independence, NUEYS in tune with the new chapter of national development and reconstruction, has been working tirelessly in raising awareness, education and training, invention and research as well as other activities.

NUEYS, actively works with its leading motto of enlightening, organizing and equipping youth. Its structure extends, throughout the six administrative zones and in Sawa and higher educational institutes as a special zone of the youth and students; therefore, the operations of the union is divided and administered into seven administrational zones. Its policies and programs at the national level are lead and coordinated by the five departments in its head office. These include: Provincial coordination, Media and culture, administration and Finance, Foreign Affairs and Projects. All NUEYS organs plan, implement, evaluate and target the result of their work towards the achievement of the organizations main motto. i.e. “Let the youth get Conscious, Organized and Equipped”.

In general, NUEYS through the above mentioned structure works towards achieving the following aims:

  • Empowering core members (organizational core), cultivating and following up sub organizations of the union
  • Raising all rounded consciousness within youth
  • Increasing participation of government bodies, the front (PFDJ) and society in matters regarding youth.
  • Strengthening organizations and partnerships of NUEYS abroad.
  • Increasing financial capability of the organization

In order to achieve the above mentioned goals within the administrative structure, all branches of the union design a five-year strategic work plan to operate by.

Following is an interview conducted with the Head of the Foreign Affairs department to discuss about the aims and tasks of the department as well as major activities conducted within the 3rd quarter of the year.

  • Daniel let’s start with a general introduction, what tasks does the department of Foreign Affairs undertake?

The department of Foreign Affairs is a department that monitors and coordinates all activities of the union conducted abroad as well as activities conducted within the country by Eritrean youth that reside abroad. In general, its activities are categorized in to two sections: the first being, forging a connection of Eritrean youth residing abroad with their country and people and creating a platform for them to contribute to their country as well as facilitating their activities within the country. The Second section comprises ensuring the prevalence of the voice of Eritrean youth in regional and international stages by leading and administrating regional and international relations of the union.

Up to the union’s 2006 congress, the Foreign Affairs department operated under the direct follow up of the chairperson’s office of the union, functioning as a special unit. From 2006 on wards however, with the expansion of the unions activities, it was decided for it to undertake its activities as a fully-fledged department.

  • What activities does the Foreign Affairs department conduct in matters of Eritrean youth living abroad?

The activities of Eritrean youth living in the diaspora is handled on a unit level within the department. In general, the unit strives with the aim to find ways in which Eritrean youth living abroad can get to know their country better and enhance their connection with their country and people. All activities of the unit are centered around this aim. Some of the main activities are: participation of Eritrean youth living abroad in national service programs, facilitating and administrating their volunteer contributions, activities such as ‘Zura N Hagerka’ that encompasses enhancing their relationship as well as enlightening these youths on their history and national values.

Program of contribution through volunteering: this program is for Eritrean youth residing abroad that come to their country and contribute their skill and experience in different public offices, in offices of the front (PFDJ) and unions as well as public service providing companies without pay and within in a time frame of above three months. The role of the union/department is receiving the request from the youth wishing to contribute and connecting them or rather placing them in a place where they can contribute and then monitoring, evaluating, archiving and handing out certificates of recognition.

The number of volunteers rises and falls throughout the year. There are many factors that lead to the fluctuation of their numbers; up to now however, we have only been receiving youth that fully support themselves financially and are willing to contribute. When looking into the experience of others, those that contribute voluntarily, are provided with pocket money and have their living expenses covered; however, currently it is not within our means to provide such amenities. On top of this, there are many that want to contribute their services for a period of less than a month. The efficacy of the requested time of service is not as desired and is not accepted by most offices; therefore, we don’t encourage these kinds of requests. These are among a few factors that impact the number of volunteers.

……to be continued


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