This article was written by Elvis Magai Hoidi, an ardent youth advocate and the Finance & Admin Officer at Youth Alive! Kenya.
For the longest time, the youth have been sidelined due to their inability to meet certain standards with the elderly being given more preference on the basis of experience and competence. The narrative has however changed over the past decade with nations all over the world realizing the gem that has been under their noses, the youth. It is for this reason that ‘in 1998, a resolution proclaiming 12 August as International Youth Day was adopted by the first session of the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth , which was hosted by the Government of Portugal in cooperation with the United Nations (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998)*.’
The day is meant to commemorate the roles of young men and women in bringing change and tackling global issues. This day also serves as a period in which the youth can reflect on themselves, and make aware of the challenges they encounter, and deliberate upon long-term solutions that would also benefit other coming generations of youths.
Young people play a key role in how a state manages its future and it is for this reason that youth-led solutions be given much priority as they would eventually spearhead a revolution. In a world that is marred with indifferences and opportunistic approaches, it is important to fix the flashlight on issues that have a long-term beneficial impact such as youth empowerment and solidarity. Through this, different generations of youths can be impacted and build on the strengths that exist to ensure that in the long run, the sustainable development goals are achieved.
This International Youth Day’s theme is international solidarity which entails encompassing the values of social justice and equity, goodwill among peoples, sovereign equality between different people, and friendly relations among them. It brings into perspective the ills that are faced by different peoples and measures put into place to ensure coexistence and interaction between them irrespective of what age bracket they fall under.