Although young people are determined to do something about the challenges the world reserves for them, they often don’t have the space to be heard, or supported. For this reason KidsRights’ State of Youth is supporting #YCM by mobilizing our engaged youth to join the #YCM challenge of 2023.
Supporting children and giving them the space to express themselves is our priority. Taking part in #YCM means taking a step towards activism, as young changemakers from all over the world come together to discuss issues, design solutions and put them into practice!
The first phase to make the voice of the youth heard are the dialogue groups. These consist of 90 minute online workshops with a cross-cultural dialogue to identify the issues that matter to young people today. In these discussions, youth can share their observations of pressing issues in the world and in their communities, discuss cultural similarities and differences, create points of view that require solutions and create preliminary ideas for further investigation during the second phase, namely the #YCM Challenge phase.
The selected themes of 2023 are:
- Education and future opportunities
- Climate, environment, and regeneration
- Youth rights and wellbeing
- Global citizenship and safety
The four themes are linked in a way that corresponds to the deep needs of today’s young people, who want to look forward to a bright future and a successful career, aspire for personal happiness and well-being, live in a healthy and safe environment, and have a sense of belonging and the ability to make their voices heard.
Each dialogue is guided by three core questions. Let’s see them more in detail!
Your Door to the Future: Education and future opportunities
In today’s rapidly evolving world, young people face many uncertainties about their future job prospects. Outdated education systems often leave them un-equipped to succeed. High youth unemployment and limited opportunities are major issues affecting many parts of the world, making it a crucial topic for discussion in the first #YCM dialogue.
The dialogue will focus the three main questions:
- How can young people be better prepared for a rapidly changing world?
- How can we improve education for all and address educational inequalities?
- How can we create more professional opportunities for young people, such as apprenticeships, jobs, or entrepreneurship opportunities?
Watch Your World: Climate, environment, and regeneration
The environment is a critical issue that must be addressed in the #YCM dialogues. The actions of past generations have resulted in environmental consequences that will affect young people for years to come. Despite the awareness of the dangers of climate change among youth, many governments and businesses are not taking sufficient action to protect our natural ecosystems.
The spine of this dialogue are the questions:
- How can we gain a deeper understanding of the impact of human activities on the environment?
- How can we shift from a model of preservation to one of regeneration for natural ecosystems?
- How can we leverage the unique perspectives and talents of young people to find new solutions to global and local environmental challenges?
Your Story Matters: Youth rights and wellbeing
Youth all over the world face a variety of challenges on a daily basis, such as child labor, food insecurity, disabilities, mental health issues, and stress. The ongoing pandemic has only exacerbated these problems for many. To ensure that young people have the opportunity to thrive, it is essential that we prioritize their physical and mental health, and work to respect and protect their rights, particularly for those who face inequalities or discrimination based on factors such as gender, race, or social background.
To guide the dialogue on Youth Rights and well-being, the focus is on the following key questions:
- How do today’s youth feel about their current situation, what causes them anxiety, and what gives them hope?
- How can we better protect and promote the well-being and equality of youth, particularly for those facing discrimination?
- What steps can be taken to reduce financial fragility for young people and support their overall well-being?
Power to the Youth: Global citizenship and safety
When considering the topic of Global Citizenship and Safety, it is important to keep in mind:
- How much do young people around the world feel that their voices are being heard and taken into account?
- How can we make our societies more inclusive and reduce conflict?
- How can young people be more actively engaged and involved in decision-making about their future?
It is unfortunate that young people are often left out of the decision-making process when it comes to issues that directly impact their lives. As global citizens, it is crucial that we work to better understand cultural differences and similarities, and interact with one another with respect. Among the issues identified by youth as related to safety include lack of opportunities for expression, ongoing conflicts and wars, and limited access to political education.
The four themes are the foundation for living in peace: with one another, with ourselves, and with our world.
Anyone aged between 14 and 25 can take part in the #YCM 2023, don’t miss out on this opportunity!
You can learn more about #YCM on their website: https://www.ycmchallenge.org/