By Julia Tofan
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August 12th was declared International Youth Day by the United Nations in 1999 to raise international awareness about the issues that youth face. In the past, themes have included health, migration, mental health, and volunteering. In 2015, the theme is "Youth Civic Engagement," embracing the goal of increased political, economical, and social participation of people between ages 15 and 24. Around the world, people are recognizing the day with conferences, workshops, concerts, festivals, art galleries, and volunteer events focused on youth civic engagement. Why International Youth Day? Issues that youth face often receive less recognition on the international agenda than issues that affect other populations, like children and adults. Not only that, but youth are our future! That means we have to empower them, help them develop leadership skills, and create opportunities for them to get involved.
Here are 5 ways to celebrate International Youth Day!
1) Create opportunities for youth to get involved in political and social issues. According to [url=http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/world-radio-day-2013/statistics-on-youth/]UNESCO[/url], people under 30 make up 50.5% of the population, and their voices need to be heard! One way to do this is to create a youth government advisory board that collaborates with local government to fix the problems that youth face.
2) Help make education accessible! Education provides today's youth with the opportunities to overcome the difficulty of poverty and opens doors to exciting careers. [url=http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/children/pdf/educationfirst-facts.pdf]The United Nations[/url] reports that 12% of people would escape poverty if all children were literate. That's more than 170 million people. One way to help is to [url=https://www.givology.org/giv-now/giv-students/]support students[/url] around the world who are getting an education.
3) Encourage youth to [url=http://www.givology.org/get-involved/volunteer/]volunteer[/url]. Whether they're driven by a passion for gardening, an interest in music, or a talent in teaching, they can use their skills to make a difference!
4) Promote employment opportunities and job training for young adults. UNESCO [url=http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/world-radio-day-2013/statistics-on-youth/]reports[/url] that as of 2012, there are almost 75 million youth around the world that are unemployed.
5) Spread awareness on social media. Post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #YouthDay to show your support! Talk about how you get involved in volunteering, give ideas and suggestions for increasing youth civic engagement, or share a picture!
No matter how you choose to celebrate International Youth Day, be sure to remember that youth are important to overcoming the challenges the world is facing. They're already doing great things, and if every single child is given access to education and human rights, they can do even more!
Givology Staff's Blog
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