August 11, 2017

International Youth Day: how our Global Youth Ambassadors are building peace and inclusion

Our GYA Pooja Mankhedkar working with children in India

Photo credit: Pooja Mankhedkar

On the eve of International Youth Day on August 12, we celebrate the inspiring work being done by Theirworld's network of young activists.

There is an increasing understanding that young people are critical actors in all areas of international development. 

As conflict and unrest across the globe continues, it is apt that this year’s International Youth Day theme is “Youth Building Peace”. 

It is a recognition of the essential role youth have to play in building peace and promoting security, especially as often fragile and conflicted-affected territories are largely comprised of young people.

There is currently the largest youth population in history and their inclusion in the peace and security agenda is vital to fostering sustainable peace and building inclusive societies.

Insecurity has a sustained and negative impact on education both in terms of access and quality. However, it can also act as an important bulwark against violence and conflict - evidence from UNESCO shows that the risk of conflict can be halved if the percentage of young people in secondary education is doubled from 30% to 60% in countries with a high youth population. 

Our Global Youth Ambassadors - 500 of them in more than 80 countries - advocate and campaign for educational change - and many of them work in peace-building. 

Here - in their own words - is some of the amazing work they have been doing over the past year in conflict prevention, peace-building, inclusion and social justice. 

Fideline Mboringong from Cameroon

"I marvelled at the courage and strength of the girls who are using their stories to inspire change in their communities."

Read her blog about the HerStory summit

As a survivor and an activist, my job is not to change the world but to do my little bit and make sure that I leave this world a little more beautiful than when I arrived.

Mohamed Sidibay from Colombia

Samwell Ojijo from Kenya

“These children were running to save their lives, not to save a piece of paper to register for an exam.”

Read his blog on Congolese refugees who fled conflict

If you want a bright and peaceful future of your nation, educate the youth.

Mudassir Hassan from Pakistan

Jyoti Tiwari from Nepal

"Two years after earthquakes that destroyed or damaged 8000 schools, significant recovery efforts are underway."

Read her blog about efforts to repair the education system

Peace is not something without, it is within. Peace begets peace and it starts from YOU.

Isaac Success from Nigeria

Liban Abdullahi Mumin from Somalia

“200 displaced boys and girls have been given uniforms, books and pens after registering at the new school.”

Read his blog on hope for displaced children

Peace is cultivated,built and sustained through [taking] a win-win approach. That is how we flourish together collectively as a world of peace, with peace and for peace.

Enock Nkuranga from Uganda

Pooja Mankhedkar from India

"I did not want to go to school. I didn't have the courage to face my classmates, who made derogatory remarks about my skin colour."

Read her blog about a campaign to end discrimination

Fresh initiatives and fresh ideas comes from a fresh mind, it is in a youth fresh idea lies. Giving the youth the opportunity to thrive is an opportunity to refresh the world.

OjoOluwa Ibiloye from Nigeria

Moses Browne from Liberia

“The story of little Angel - out of school and married to a 40-year-old-man - inspires me to stand up for millions of children.”

Read his blog on education struggles in Africa's oldest country

Peace is not a destination; it is a journey. There is no way that can lead to peace. Peace is the way!

Anando Ghosh from India

Sadam Al-Adwar from Yemen

“Connecting schools to the internet in Yemen will have a long-term positive impact.”

Read his blog on a pilot project in two cities

Together as one, we have to fight against all odds and work towards the fulfilment of children’s rights.

Abhilash Borah from India

Rana Asif Umair from Pakistan

"Our children deserve a peaceful future and sport is a most effective tool to promote those values."

Read his blog about coaching Korean children

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