In many countries around the world with high poverty rates, young people are excited to stand up and take action to improve their communities. This type of community advocacy can take many forms, from youth action projects at a local level to nationally recognized programs that approach poverty and its consequences more broadly. The United Nations recently invited young people from around the world to participate in an annual forum designed to help them accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goals set to expire in 2015.
During the summit, which took place at the United Nations' headquarters in New York City on Aug. 7, participants discussed a range of topics. Measures to help developing countries come closer to attaining several anti-poverty MDGs were on the agenda, including alleviating extreme poverty, reducing gender inequality, improving child and maternal health, promoting environmental sustainability and lessening the impact of diseases like malaria. Youths have strong motivation to work on these issues, since this is the world they will inherit.
"It is important to recognize the importance of harnessing the passion and drive of this generation of young adults to propel us into a future of international peace, development and cooperation," said Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, the U.N.'s high representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. "This is where your role as young advocates of change becomes more relevant than ever, as youth is the most powerful agent for social change in the world."
ChildFund works with local partner organizations in some of the poorest countries in the world to effect lasting change and empower young people to take a proactive role in their communities.
Our youth empowerment initiatives in Zambia are just one example of how supporting young people can make a tremendous difference in their lives and those of other people in their community. At a youth meeting in a nearby village, Jacqueline, a young woman who was 22 when she became involved in ChildFund's programs, learned how to tailor clothing and operate a small business. After acquiring new skills, Jacqueline learned more about entrepreneurship, basic accounting and other important skills. Today, Jacqueline's business has a contract to provide uniforms to a local school, and she is helping her younger siblings receive an education.
Empowering young people and giving them the tools they need to emerge from generational poverty is one of ChildFund's top priorities. To help us make a difference in impoverished communities around the world, please consider becoming a monthly giving partner or sponsoring a child today.