It’s International Youth Day on 12 August 2023.
World YMCA has issued a short video piece to mark the day – it quantifies some of the challenges faced by 1.2 billion 15-24 year-olds worldwide, and makes it clear that young people rise above these numbers just as they rise above many of the stereotypes around them. We believe in empowering young people to be and to lead the change they want to see.
A specific theme of this year’s International Youth Day is #GreenSkillsForYouth: Towards a sustainable World.
On 9 August, YMCA Canada ran an event hosted by YMCA Canada’s National Young Leaders Advisory Committee. Its purpose was to increase awareness of green skills and enhance understanding of the role of young people in the green transition. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), a green transition will result in the creation of 8.4 million jobs for young people by 2030. These are ‘green’ jobs: jobs which contribute to preserving or restoring the environment either by supporting environmentally friendly processes or through the production of green products and services. Young people need to be well-equipped with green skills so that they can successfully navigate this changing environment and leverage the opportunities that it presents. Many Canadian YMCAs are already taking meaningful steps forward on this journey. The event involved some of the YMCA’s global partners (ILO, UNICEF), national organizations working in the space of Green Skills for Youth (United Nations Association in Canada) and local organizations (Archway Community Services). Many Canadian YMCAs are already taking meaningful steps forward on this journey. The event involved some of the YMCA’s global partners (ILO, UNICEF), national organizations working in the space of Green Skills for Youth (United Nations Association in Canada) and local organizations (Archway Community Services).
International Youth Day is also a chance to stand alongside our many partners in the field of youth empowerment.
For instance, the UN Youth Envoy’s campaign to shine a light on how #YouthLead as Agents of Change for the Global Goals. See how our YMCA Change Agents youth leadership programme aligns the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with the four goals of #YMCAvision2030: Community Wellbeing, Meaningful Work, Sustainable Planet, Just World.
We have also shared our involvement with the #HumanSecurityForAll campaign run by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security and the World Academy of Art and Science, and the International Labour Organization in its call for Meaningful Work for young people. Meaningful Work is the second pillar of YMCA Vision 2030, as we continue to work with young people and communities on equitable education, training and employment opportunities.