International Youth Day Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World
The future of our world rests in the hands of the youth. They are the driving force behind progress, innovation, and positive change. International Youth Day, celebrated annually on 12th August, serves as a reminder of the immense potential and vitality of young people worldwide. This special day is an occasion to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the youths to society while acknowledging the challenges they face in their journey toward a better future.
The Origin of International Youth Day:
In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated 12th August, as International Youth Day, following a recommendation of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth. This day was established to raise awareness of the issues affecting young people and to promote their engagement in social, economic, and political processes.
Theme: “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World”
Each year, International Youth Day has a specific theme that reflects the pressing concerns and priorities of young individuals across the globe. Themes of previous years have focused on areas such as mental health, education, and employment opportunities.
The theme for this year, Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World is to embark the journey towards a green transition. The shift towards an environmentally sustainable and climate-friendly world is critical not only for responding to the global climate crisis but also for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A successful transition towards a greener world will depend on the development of green skills in the population. Green skills are “knowledge, abilities, values and attitudes needed to live in, develop and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society”. This theme recognizes that youth have a crucial role to play in shaping a sustainable and inclusive future.
Challenges Faced by the Youth:
Despite their potential, young people encounter numerous challenges that hinder their progress and development. One of the most significant hurdles is the lack of access to quality education and employment opportunities. The global economy is evolving rapidly, demanding new skill sets and knowledge, but many youth struggle to access education that prepares them for the jobs of the future.
Furthermore, social issues such as discrimination, violence, and mental health concerns disproportionately affect young individuals. Inequality and discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other factors limit the opportunities available to many young people. Additionally, issues like substance abuse, depression, and anxiety can have severe consequences on their well-being and overall potential.
The Role of Education and Mentorship:
Education and mentorship are crucial components of empowering young individuals. Access to quality education equips them with the necessary knowledge and skills to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Governments, non-governmental organizations, and private institutions must work together to ensure that education is not only accessible but also relevant and engaging.
Mentorship programs can also play a vital role in nurturing the potential of youth. Connecting young people with experienced professionals and role models can inspire and guide them in their personal and professional journeys. Mentorship fosters confidence, motivation, and resilience, enabling young people to overcome obstacles and reach their full potential.
Youth and Social Activism
Today’s youth are more socially aware and politically active than ever before. They are at the forefront of demanding action on pressing issues such as climate change, gun control, and human rights violations. Through social media and grassroots movements, young people can amplify their voices and mobilize communities, prompting governments and institutions to listen and act.
It is essential for society to encourage and support the activism of young people. Instead of dismissing them as idealistic or uninformed, we should embrace their passion and commitment to creating a better world. Their fresh perspectives and innovative ideas can lead to transformative change and inspire the entire community to be more engaged in important social issues.
Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation
With access to technology and information, today’s youth are uniquely positioned to drive innovation and entrepreneurship. They have the tools at their disposal to create startups and ventures that address societal challenges in novel ways. Governments and investors must foster an ecosystem that supports young entrepreneurs by providing resources, mentorship, and funding opportunities.
The entrepreneurial spirit among young people also fosters economic growth and job creation. By empowering youth to become job creators rather than job seekers, we can reduce unemployment rates and bolster economic stability.
International Youth Day serves as a powerful reminder of the potential and agency of young people in shaping the world’s future. Empowering youth is not just a responsibility but an investment in a better, more sustainable world. By providing access to quality education, mentorship, and opportunities, we can unlock the vast potential of our youth and enable them to become leaders, innovators, and agents of positive change. As a global community, we must stand together to support and uplift the youth, for they are the architects of a brighter tomorrow.