Celebrating our Youth!

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Youth are full of energy, new ideas, and offer hope for the future. In 1965, the United Nations General Assembly talked about the power of youth. The first International Youth Day was held 35 years later, on August 12, 2000. Since then, each Youth Day offers new themes that teach us and help us celebrate those things youth have done to give back to the world.

The theme of International Youth Day 2021 is “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”. The need to grow and make food for our increasing population in ways that will not harm people or our environment is a very important topic. The goal is for youth to learn about food and how to make choices that are the healthiest and best for people and the planet. As future decision-makers, youth can make a big difference in how we think about food.

It is important to honor our young people and the things they do that give back to our own city. One Calgary community “tags” local youth to highlight things they have done to support the neighborhood. With permission, the “tag” is posted on the community’s social media page. This project supports youth who are taking positive steps and gives the community a way to celebrate their youth. It connects people, makes youth feel like they belong, and helps young people feel noticed and valued.

Here are other ideas about how you can celebrate youth this summer.

  • Find fun ways to spread the message that youth are great! Consider social media, local news, radio stations, and bulletin boards.
  • Ask youth to share how they want to make a difference.
  • Talk about how young people are helping with issues that impact our world.
  • Connect youth and adults. Give them the chance to get to know each other and to see things from each other’s point of view.
  • Help youth write to local community leaders to let them know about the challenges young people face every day, and to share their solutions.

Global efforts will be much stronger if young people take part in a meaningful way! International Youth Day can be a day for each of us to think about how we can start taking action. Try and get involved however you can in giving back to the community, and in celebrating our amazing youth!