Going back in history, International Youth Day was created by the United Nations (UN) on the 12th of August 2000. On this 15th year after its first observance, the theme is ‘Youth Civic Engagement.’ We have about 17% of youth that make up the world population with about 1.2 billion of them aged between 15 and 24.
One of the biggest issues plaguing youths today is unemployment. 24.4% of the world’s unemployed are youths. Some reasons for the high rate of unemployment among youths can be attributed firstly to lack of quality education tailored towards complementing the abilities required in the fast paced world such as the labor market.
Good education has been put up to par with getting a good job, like synchronization among gadgets even though this is not the yard stick to measuring successful youths. For example, in Tunisia, 40% of university graduates are unemployed against 24% of non-graduates. Secondly, high population growth rates, especially in the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, have increased the number of youth entering the labor market. Thirdly is economic crisis. Whenever there is an economic downturn, youths are the first to be thrown out of jobs and the last to be taken in. The reason for the former is much reduced cost of laying them off on the part of the company and for the latter, it is for lack of experience. Lack of existing comprehensive National Policy Structure, and other numerous reasons are other examples of issues globally plaguing youths in varying degrees.
After all these talks about youths, this international day is to draw attention to the youth and what makes them up. For a country to have a sustainable development, it has to engage its youth actively. Some youths have given up entirely and are at a high risk of feeling less of themselves and alienated from the society.
To commemorate the day, FeedOne Project would like to encourage youths to be a positive externality. That no matter what is happening out there they can be successful. Part of the mission at FeedOne is to empower youths and emancipate them from any form of hindrance. The best part of us is what comes from within. Put into thoughts what you can do in your community or immediate circle of influence and how you can effectively spread the positive energy. Take small steps every day and one day you will get to your destination. There are various ways in which a youth can actively participate in effective dissemination of unity, non-violence and progress. Some of such are: Educational radio show that can pique the interest of the youth to call in and add their contributions through various platforms made available for the event, organize a public meeting or debate to discuss how young people are contributing to global issues; round table discussions among adults and young people to promote intergenerational understanding that will go a long way to help both parties involved, organize a youth forum to exchange ideas and discuss cultural backgrounds in order to help young people accept others and popularize a culture of non-violence, create an “information box” about youth-related issues in the center of town/village, at high schools, or at university centers which showcases the challenges of young people today or how young people are contributing to development, adults should involve young people in the domains of culture, arts and music, to raise awareness on youth-related issues, as a group or an individual write to your Minister of Youth to tell him or her about the challenges faced by young people in their daily lives with suggested solutions. What we do today will go a long way to show for our tomorrow. Vincent Van Gogh said “Great things are not by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Happy International Youth Day!