“Since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2250 in 2015, there is growing recognition that as agents of change, young people are critical actors in conflict prevention and sustaining peace. International Youth Day 2017 is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace.” (Source: UN, 2017)
When we began to explore this question, we immediately reinforced our belief that young people are indeed vital to sustainable development. We are currently delivering entrepreneurship training enabling young people to build their own businesses, creating opportunities and developing the local economy. This International Youth Day, we celebrate the hard work of the entrepreneurs in the village of Kitunduweta who are attending training with the aim of diversifying and changing their livelihood in the long-term.
When considering that more than 50% of the World’s population is under 30 (Source: UNESCO) and 35% of the Tanzanian population is under 35 (SOURCE: UNA), the importance of young people participating in society and becoming a force to bring about sustainable development cannot be understated. Young people are often more open-minded and willing to change and adapt to situations, making them perfect for bringing about positive, lasting change.
Raleigh Tanzania acknowledges the potential of young people amongst a changing and often challenging world. The livelihoods programme offers entrepreneurs in rural Tanzanian villages the opportunity to learn more about business and kickstarts innovation and entrepreneurship. It offers the local community a way to add to their skill set and make long-term, positive changes.
Globally, less and less young people are voting on the issues that really matter, including in parliamentary elections – leaving them voiceless regarding their own future. We believe young people need to get more involved in decision making to be both an inspiration to the rest of society and an example for future generations. Becoming an active citizen and playing a role be it big or small, at home or abroad can make a big impact on sustainable development in our communities and around the world.
They call us leaders of tomorrow, but we can be leaders NOW.