12th August is the day when the world officially celebrates young people! And in 2020 it does so in unprecedentedly difficult times. On the one hand, we know that young people have been severely hit by the pandemic – with disrupted schooling, lost or delayed work, separation from friends. On the other hand, we have seen the courage, the resilience and the audacity of so many young women and men who are playing a part and helping in their communities, and who are fully embracing their future.
This year, the theme of International Youth Day 2020 is “Youth Engagement for Global Action”. So let’s have a look at how young people at YMCA are getting involved at the local, national and global level to change and improve society.
On 1st August, Goodwall, the professional development network created primarily for students, entrepreneurs, and young professionals, launched the ‘BetterTogether’ initiative. It offers a gateway to new opportunities both educational and professional through five weeks of inspiring themed challenges, top speakers and community content available exclusively on the app.
The World YMCA joined this programme to encourage young people to share their goals and achievements, and to speak out. Many creative leaders from the YMCA movement are using this online platform to inspire and to get inspired. Here below are a few examples, among many. And remember, you still have until the end of August to participate!
Sengmoonpan from Myanmar/Burma, says: “My goal for 2020 is to be someone who gives awareness and knowledge to the people in my country, to be respectful and responsible and sustainable so as to preserve the environment and natural resources”.
He also shares a preview of the short movie “Justices” performed by KachinState Human Drama Group from Myitkyina YMCA. The short film deals with sexual harassment and will be released soon.
Nakayi from Uganda studies at the YMCA Comprehensive Institute. She speaks about her involvement with children, teaching them how to believe in themselves, and how to fight against child marriages.
Celebrating gender equality
João from Brazil decided to share a photo of him and World YMCA President Patricia Pelton when they met at the 175th YMCA anniversary a year ago in London, June 2019.
Learning and reflecting
Michal from the USA shares her experience as a defense attorney for a man on trial for murder – a unique opportunity for her to find out more about the “ins and outs of the Illinois government court system”.