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International Youth Day 2020: Invest in Youth. Invest in a Better Future.

International Youth Day

The Youth of Today are the Leaders of Tomorrow – Nelson Mandela

The youth of today is changing traditions for the future generation. They are actively involved in the discussions and decisions across the globe. Youth are contributing and working for sustainable development of the society through their ideas, suggestions and actions.

Despite being the backbone of a country, there is a huge percentage of youth who are deprived of participating in the upliftment of the society as they lack basic technical skills required in the various occupations. Hence, it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to help youth learn and grow and be the change-makers of the future.

International Youth Day was organised by the United Nations and was first celebrated on 12th August 2000. It is a day of reflection to focus on the rights of young people. As the future lies in the hands of the youth it’s important to provide them with basic education, health care, employment and engage them in public life to enhance their contribution to society.

International Youth Day 2020 Theme:

The theme of International Youth Day 2020 is ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’.

The global youth population is anticipated to reach nearly 1.4 billion by 2065. The theme for this year aims to enhance youth engagement by making local, national and global institutions more inclusive to strengthen their capability to participate in global actions.

International Youth Day Purpose:

In 1995, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth to establish guidelines and policies for action and support that would lead to a brighter future for tomorrow’s youth. With a different theme selected each year, International Youth Day helps bring attention to youth issues and increase opportunities for youth to actively participate in a global society.

International Youth Day Activities:

International Youth Day is celebrated annually on August 12th through events, seminars and programs from an international to a local level. The celebrations and activities enhance the talents of youngsters and develop unity among young people across the world.

Since the world is currently following social distancing norms, the celebrations have gone digital. A social media campaign Join #31DaysOfYOUth is organised to celebrate young people throughout August, to spread awareness and initiate conversations surrounding youth engagement for global action. The 3 engagement ways will be explained and discussed with renowned panellists.

Engagement at the local level – This year the celebrations will commence with a podcast that will give a brief on the marked streams— local, national and global along with a discussion with panellists. Discussions will be held on the role of language in youth engagement.

Engagement at the national level – Youth civic engagement is crucial to prepare young minds to be active citizens. The central agenda of national level engagement will be increasing the percentage of youth as members of parliament and involving them in the formulation and implementation of national level laws and policies.

Engagement at the global level – Several local and national youth movements have taken a global turn. This segment will discuss the importance of digital media, data dissemination and international collaborations.

Each segment would be concluded with a poetry session, music collaboration and conversation respectively. The United Nations has urged educational institutions and communities to conduct their celebration events on 12th August 2020 to raise awareness on youth engagement.

The World Health Organisation and UNESCO will be celebrating the contribution of young people around the world for demonstrating resilience, collective action and creativity in responding to the Corona virus pandemic. These unprecedented times of Covid-19 saw many young come forth to support and serve the community as essential workers or volunteers. Young health professionals and students have been actively involved in hospitals, research centres and testing clinics. While many others are raising awareness of public health information through social media, radio, surveys, etc.

International Youth Day in India:

A three-day youth festival marking the International Youth Day will be celebrated by the Vijayawada district administration; it is being held online from August 7th to 10th. Competitions such as essay writing, elocution, quiz, painting and poster presentation are being conducted for the youth between 15 and 29 years of age. Interested students from various colleges, youth organisations and voluntary organisations can participate in the competitions through a digital platform- Zoom.

Five ways youth can make an impact:

  1. Know your rights: To make an impact on society, youth should be aware of his or her national and international rights.
  2. Highlight local issues: Paying attention to local and community issues, and highlighting the same to the authorities will contribute towards social upliftment.
  3. Going Online: Making optimum use of social media platforms to express your views on the issues and inspiring youth across the globe to join in unity for better solutions.
  4. Being creativity: Almost anything can be turned into an activist project. Express your political and social ideologies through photography, art and craft, dance, theatre, sports, street art, etc.
  5. Joining youth organisations: Being part of youth groups and organisations to enhance your knowledge to become an active member of your society in order to carry out missions on a large scale.

Youth are a positive force for development who, when provided with the right knowledge and opportunities will build a prosperous nation.

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