Happy International Youth Day!

International Youth Day “is an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, as well as an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges and hardships facing the world’s youth.”

To celebrate International Youth Day the AVC Volunteers discussed the challenges facing youth today and what people should be doing to overcome them. Below is a reflection from AVC Volunteer Samweli Daudi:

Youth, especially in African countries, face a lot of problems today. One of the biggest problems we are facing is a lack of jobs. African youth graduate from universities with degrees, but often wait years without finding work. It creates tension in people and the community.

The United Nations is a champion of youth rights and created International Youth Day. By writing specific guidelines addressing youth challenges, the UN can help individual governments create policies to help youth.

Governments and nonprofit organizations should consider the needs of youth and ask them to participate when making policies and programs that will affect them. This will generate participation and confidence among the youth.

Samweli Daudi with a coworker at his placement site UWAWAYAKI in Moshi, Tanzania.

Samweli Daudi with a coworker at his placement site UWAWAYAKI in Moshi, Tanzania.

Youth are innovative. Youth have creative ideas and a desire to create change, but are under-appreciated and their ideas are often rejected by the older generation who don’t always want to listen to the ideas of young people or to involve them in decision-making processes. We, as youth, lack the chance to show our abilities.

As a society, we can support youth by creating and offering opportunities for them in the job market. Youth should be encouraged to participate and appreciated for their contributions.

Youth are an asset. We are energetic, optimistic, and change-oriented. It is profitable to make use of these assets. The change should start amongst ourselves. We can organize ourselves into groups and create our own projects and businesses to reduce joblessness. We must be self-aware, understand our position as agents of change, and be fully dedicated to achieving our desired goals.