The theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
This year’s IYD seeks to put the spotlight on youth engagement through the following three interconnected streams:
- Engagement at the local/community level;
- Engagement at the national level (formulation of laws, policies, and their implementation); and,
- Engagement at the global level.
During the COVID-19 pandemic SERVE are continuing to support our youth at home and overseas in taking action towards a more just and peaceful world. In partnership with Scala, we have engaged with young people in Cork, Ireland via Zoom to discuss taking informed local action to promote the Sustainable Development Goals. Once restrictions are lifted, we will support the group to lead the way in advocating for change and to be the ambassadors of demonstrating ‘Solidarity In Action‘ while ‘thinking globally, acting locally’.
In Zambia, a youth group have been mobilised to learn new skills around small holder agriculture. They have transformed an unused piece of land into a large fruit and vegetable garden. Their watering rota ensures that the young people are involved and have responsibility in the project.
In the Philippines the youth leaders supported the distribution of emergency food supplies during the COVID-19 lockdown. The young people worked with the Presentation Sisters, Badjao leaders and teachers to ensure that the community safely received their food supplies, while maintaining social distancing.
In Mozambique, SERVE’s partner Young Africa is supporting young people through the global pandemic by running an essential soup kitchen. The youth at Young Africa Mozambique also donated their own time and skills to make washable and reusable face masks for the local community.
The actions and initiatives taken by our youth during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is critical to building a better world. Young people are creative and resilient and are our future leaders. We believe our future is in safe hands with the young people we work alongside across the world.