Happy International Youth Day!
I bet you’re wondering what the point of this day is. We seem to have a “day” for just about everything like, “International Ice Cream Day” or “International Hug Your Cat Day” (Yes, this is a real thing. Look it up). It’s either some kind of publicity stunt, an endorsement so people would go out and buy ice cream, or some kind of quirky, fun thing to remind people to love their cats. But what exactly is so special about this one?
The U.N. declared August 12th to be International Youth Day to garner awareness on youth issues worldwide. Listening to all the different voices of the world, they are able to pinpoint the most pressing issues the youth are facing today.
In 2010 for example, the theme was “Dialogue and Mutual Understanding” because the youth was generally uninvolved in decisions that directly affected them. As a solution, they emphasized not only including the voices of select, special, youth representatives, but to instead implement one of a much larger scale that welcomed all voices. And last year’s theme (2014) was “Youth and Mental Health,” a widespread, current issue that many of us are still talking about today.
Those were the most relevant issues of the time, and it gave the youth a powerful platform to talk about those issues and actually have an impact on them. This year’s theme is “Youth Civic Engagement.” Today, we recognize that the youth’s participation is essential to achieve a harmonious, sustainable world.
So, if you’re a young person reading this: The spotlight is on you. What are you going to do about it?