Building a Better World, Partnering With Youth

If you’ve been reading our blog lately, you would remember this post about today’s youth. If you haven’t read it, Y not? :)

I was delighted to come across the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ page dedicated to the upcoming youth day on August 12, 2012. More importantly, the slogan that they chose for this year’s celebration, building a better world, partnering with youth, represents as a symbol of faith. It demonstrates that despite the negative attention that youth, as a social group, have been getting (and often generating), there are just as many youth who serve as the agents of change, and beacons of hope for social development.

“Each year, International Youth Day (IYD) is assigned a theme; a conceptual slogan that communicates the scope, direction, and objectives of the year’s youth initiatives and that also provides a unifying banner from under which individuals can draw the inspiration to take action. The theme chosen for International Youth Day 2012 – Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth – is a global call to action for young men and women, as well as other stakeholders around the world, to develop and engage in partnerships with and for youth towards building a better world.”  United Nations

I am proud to volunteer with an organization that contributes to the United Nations’ framework approach of creating awareness, mobilizing and engaging, and connecting and building bridges. Many of the people who have participated in this year’s (and previous) youth internship and youth exchange programs would readily attest to my claim – and that’s what matters most. Youth, and grown up youth, who feel changed, and continue to be agents of change, through cooperation, friendship and mutual drive for a better world.

2010 Youth Exchange participants and YMCA staff

International Programs’ Manager Esperanza Monsalve and YMCA GTA President and CEO Medhat Mahdy working with 2010 Youth participants from Medellin, Colombia

I have to point out one thing though. I only came across the UN’s page with information about this day because I was looking for positive articles about youth and their work around the world. As a youth who is slowly being pushed out of the category into the next age group box, I’m a bit disappointed that this day hasn’t been more celebrated around the world. After all , according to some statistics, “the number of youth between the ages of 15 and 24 is 1.1 billion; youth constitute 18 percent of the global population. Youth and children together, including all those aged 24 years and younger, account for nearly 40 percent of the world’s population.” (Advocates for Youth)

Stay tuned for more news on the activities planned for international youth day by our friends at the Newcomer Youth Leadership Development program.

Do you have any plans for International Youth Day? We’d love to hear back from you!

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5 thoughts on “Building a Better World, Partnering With Youth

  1. Anna, the Newcomer Youth Program will be celebrating IYD on Friday Aug. 10th. It would be great to have you attend! There is also a planning meeting on Monday with our youth if you are interested in getting involved, you could get in touch with Ashley!

    • Hi Hanna, thanks for the update, and I would love to attend IYD event at the Newcomer Youth Program. I will also contact Ashley to get involved in the planning meeting. Looking forward to August 10th!

  2. luck you. for the youth in Uganda to celebrate such is a very big lack. People of Uganda don’t value the contribution of the youth. an example is the youth fund which was introduce but no youth has benefited out of it. So Anna in future you should see how to make the youth from LDCs get to share their experiences with you so that we can better our world.
    Thanks Arugu Julius

    • Thank you for sharing your experiences in relation to this topic. The fact that you are addressing the issues faced by Youth in Uganda is already a step towards making the world better. Maybe in light of the international youth day we could post a poll on the blog, asking youth, and grown-up youth, to share their experiences and opinions as to whether they think youth contribution is valued in their country. My question to you would be, why do you think the people of Uganda don’t value the contribution of youth? Is it because there aren’t enough youth that contribute, or is their contribution seen as irrelevant or unimportant?

  3. Pingback: International Youth Day 2012 Planning Committee «

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