YOURS Capacity Development Manager and Youth Coalition Youth Local Actions winner Dilshod Kholmatov joined the “Outspoken Cyclist Podcast” on Tuesday, March 7. Hosted and produced by Diane Jenks, the podcast is one of the longest-running and most popular bicycling podcasts in the field. Its topics range from advocacy and legislation to competition and other topics related to cycling. Daniela and Dilshod were joined by Carolyne Whelan, the Editor-In-Chief of Adventure Cyclist Magazine.

During the discussion, Daniela and Deepanshu talked about the work YOURS – Youth for Road Safety and the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety are doing to educate and empower youth to address road safety issues worldwide. 

They began by sharing the stories of how they got involved with the Global Youth Coalition, citing the 2nd World Youth Assembly for Road Safety that happened in Stockholm, Sweden on February 2020. Dilshod shared; “Our colleague Haidarsho (Makulshoev) won the (Impact Generator Challenge) grant – that’s where our journey started. He was familiar with YOURS and he told me about it. I was interested and became a member of the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety where submitted my own (Local Actions) proposal for walking and cycling.” 

Both also talked about the work they’re doing in their communities to further road safety and meaningful youth engagement. They talked about their partnerships with decision-makers, also giving examples of the challenges that they sometimes face

“Well, there are many challenges. One is making decision-makers see us [youth] as legitimate counterparts. They are always saying we don’t have enough experience and they underestimate our skills. It can be hard to get their attention. That’s why we have the Policymakers’ Toolkit to help policymakers understand the different mechanisms on how to interact and allow participation from young people,” – Laura Daniela Gomez.

Focusing on the work they are currently doing, Dilshod spoke about how he and his team and Dushanbe have engaged with decision-makers at the city level to get them more involved in addressing the road safety needs of cyclists in the area. They are also working to improve road infrastructure so that it caters to the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users. 

“Cars are the king of the road in Dushanbe and this is a struggle. There are always victims and when you show these losses to decision-makers, they usually would like to be part of the project; they’d like to help and be involved,” Dilshod shared. 

Daniela spoke about the different services the Youth Coalitions provide to support young people in their road safety work. She talked about the Capacity Development opportunities, the Local Actions projects, and YOURS Academy. She ended her intervention by inviting the listeners to go to the Youth Coalition website to get involved and to go to YOURS Academy to improve their road safety knowledge.