Celebrating Hope for the Future
August 12 marks the annual celebration of International Youth Day. It is an international day of awareness, recognizing youth across the globe and empowering the world's youth to make positive contributions to their communities and nations.
International Youth Day and World Youth Day
International Youth Day is not to be confused with World Youth Day. World Youth Day was founded by Pope John Paul II in 1986 as an invitation for youth to respond to the call to bring the love of Christ to the world. World Youth Day is celebrated each year on Palm Sunday.
International Youth Day is a United Nations supported celebration, while World Youth Day is a celebration founded within the Catholic tradition. Though technically different celebrations, both International Youth Day and World Youth Day recognize the value of young people across the world.
Understanding the World Programme of Action for Youth
The United Nations (UN) celebrated the first ever International Year of Youth in 1985. A decade later, the UN General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY), a set of policies and guidelines for nations to look to in improving the situation of the world's youth. However, it was not until 2000 that the world celebrated the first International Youth Day.
The values and celebrations of International Youth Day are heavily influenced by the core principles of the WPAY.
The World Programme of Action for Youth is a strategic framework of policies and guidelines to guide nations in supporting, empowering, and improving the conditions of young people. The focus of the WPAY is to encourage national actions to improve the number of quality opportunities for youth, ultimately encouraging them to be active and effective participants in society.
The program also encourages youth around the world to gather and create awareness about the realities young people face within their own nation.
The Impact Potential of Youth
The world currently holds the largest generation of youth in history. Young people represent hope for the future. However, they are more than just that.
In a message about International Youth Day, Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, writes, "Young people are not only our future—they are our present…They are the most connected, the most outspoken and the most open-minded generation the world has ever seen."
Today’s youth have potential to shape the world both in the present and in the future.
Sadly, this potential for impact is often inhibited. The tragedy is that many young people around the world battle the suffocating grip of poverty, disease, lack of resources, education, and more. The progress, dreams, and world-changing abilities are restricted for many young people.
Youth and You
The destructive nature of poverty often follows children out of their childhood and into their youth. Many young people around the world lack basic literary, reading, and writing skills. Without opportunities for education or to learn a trade, many teenagers in poverty get involved with gangs, drugs, and other dangerous activities.
We want the lives of youth across the world to tell a different story. We want better stories. And we want you to be a part of it.
Our work in youth development provides young people ages 12 and older with customized training and educational paths according to their unique God-given talents and potential. Our goal is for youth to be prepared, equipped, and able to support themselves while contributing positively to their families and communities. By partnering with us, your donation may support formal education, non-formal education, or income generation training.
Empowerment through education has the ability to bring positive change to the lives of young people and release them from the grip of poverty.
Tutoring for entrance examinations, and assistance with university and seminary education
Vocational training and apprenticeships, job-search skills and computer literacy
Teaching business and entrepreneurship, financing start-ups, providing seed capital and micro-loans