August is a month for a lot of events all over the world. Particularly in Nigeria, it’s a month for a wide range of cultural events like new yam festival. It’s also a month for annual general meeting for women in the eastern part of Nigeria and of course, summer holidays for children with lots of packages.

The youths are not left out as the UN marks International Youth Day on the 12 of August. This day is celebrated to raise awareness about the challenges and problems faced by the world’s youth as well as to recognize the power and influence that young people have within the society.

BACKGROUND

The United Nations, in 1985 celebrated its first International Year of Youth, which laid an early foundation for International Youth Day. By 1995, the UN marked the initiative’s tenth anniversary by implementing the World Programme of Action for Youth, which established goals and guidelines that could help create a better life for the world’s young people. Finally in 1999, the UN declared August 12 “International Youth Day”.

According to the United Nation division for inclusive social development, this International Youth Day 2019 is the auspicious day for the youth all over the world where the youth are expected to get engaged in activities related to their divers need and interest, participate in the decision- making process and freely express themselves.

 THEME

Yearly, the United Nation decides the theme of International Youth Day. For 2019, the theme is “Transforming Education” which highlights efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves. Rooted in Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” – International Youth Day 2019 will examine how Governments, young people, youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders, are transforming education and how these efforts are contributing to the achievement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

HOW TO OBSERVE INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY

Here a few meaningful ways you can celebrate International Youth Day and get involved in your community:

SHARE THE WORD

Spread the word by sharing information about young people and how education can be transformed to make it equitable and inclusive for all youth. Highlight the stories through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtag #InternationalYouthDay2019 #YouthDay2019 #IYD2019. Also create other platforms about youths and their efforts.

PARTICIPATE IN A PROGRAM

The experience and knowledge you’ll gain, people you meet, and positive changes you’ll make are all aspects that won’t be achieved just by sitting on the couch at home. So locate and attend any event around you organized to mark the International Youth Day. If no activities in your area. This a great chance for you to rally your friends, family, and colleagues to initiate a movement of encouragement, awareness and fun for the youth in your community. Get passionate, get creative!

VOLUNTEER WITH YOUNG PEOPLE IN YOUR COMMUNITY

A great way to help kids in your area is by simply being there for them. Join a volunteer organization that can help you become a big brother/big sister, help kids practice their schoolwork, deliver food to families in need, or otherwise improve the lives of young people in your community. This is very possible now that the kids are on holidays and some attending summer classes.

EDUCATE THE KIDS IN YOUR LIFE

If there are children in your life, explain to them in an age-appropriate way that life isn’t always easy for kids around the world, and that not all children have toys to play with or much food to eat. Talk to them about how they can help make a difference for kids in need, and aim to be a positive role model in their lives. Think about ways to improve the lives of the kids you know, and take action whenever possible.

EMPOWER YOUTHS TO PLAY A ROLE IN THEIR FUTURE

In order to get young people excited to participate in the Global Goals and other local initiatives, they have to be informed, interested, and feel influential in the outcome. Simply telling them that their role is paramount in saving the world, isn’t going to cut it. Begin by educating them about what some of the world’s biggest issues are and the part each person plays in causing or helping to fix those problems.

Next, ask what they are passionate about, what issues they face every day, or what they would like to change about the world. Listen closely, take notes, and help them pick one of the SDGs that you can both work toward, together. Brainstorm different ways that you can each take small actions every day to make a big difference, and don’t forget to make it fun!

MAKE A DONATION

Find a charity that aligns with your goals, and donate extra money or items. The possibilities are endless.

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