PRESENTATION AT DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION ASSOCIATION WORKSHOP
Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2003PRESENTATION AT DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION ASSOCIATION WORKSHOP WOBURN HOUSE- LONDON WEDNESDAY- 27TH NOVEMBER 2002
(CYWU General Secretary Doug Nicholls also made a presentation on political education to the same conference. This can be found on this website under the speeches and articles section.)
By Vida Korang. Ghana.
- WHO ARE YOUNG PEOPLE
- WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP
- GLOBAL ISSUES THAT SHAPE YOUNG PEOPLE'S LIVES
- NEED TO DEVELOP GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE
- ACTIONS BY GOVERNMENTS, YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATIONS AND YOUNG PEOPLE THEMSELVES
WHO ARE YOUNG PEOPLE?
Definition of youth varies from one country to another. Even within one country, it may vary among different communities. The Commonwealth Youth Programme defines a youth as a male or female aged between 15 and 29. In many developing Commonwealth countries, young people below the age of thirty form as much as 50-70% of the total population. The United Nations defines people between the ages of 15 to 24 years as youth and about 85% of these youth live in the developing countries, with 54% in Asia and the Pacific alone.
Youth form the majority of a country’s demographic pattern. Youth are a heterogeneous group of the society: males/females, teenagers/young adults, urban/rural, employed/unemployed, and educated/uneducated. They have little or no participation in decision-making processes. Programme deliverers view them, as mere beneficiaries not equal partners in national development. People say youth are the leaders of tomorrow, but they see themselves as leaders of today and that their ability to perform tomorrow’s functions well will depend on their role today.
WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP?
People join together for common good in a free society. People taking responsibility for the quality of life in their community Working to raise the level of social justice in your society. Participation in activities within your community or society. Caring for the welfare and development of others in your community. Building better communities that lead to a better nation hence a better world. Thus our actions at the local level negatively or positively affect the global world.
Widening, deepening and speeding up of the world-wide interconnectedness in all aspects of contemporary society’s life cultural to criminal, financial to spiritual. Globalisation connects communities in one region of the world to development in another. e.g. The rapid moulding of the world into a shared social space by economic and technological forces and that development in one region of the world has profound consequences for the life chances of individual or communities on the other side of the globe.
GLOBAL ISSUES THAT SHAPE YOUNG PEOPLE'S LIVES
Low income due to lack of access to economics, technology, cultural and ecological resources. Poverty. About one third of the commonwealth-nearly 600million people live on less than $1 a day. (CHRI 2000) and most of these people are young people. This is not confined to the developing world alone. Some developed countries also face this problem. ( UK has poverty level of 13%) (Widening gap between the rich and the poor- the 225 richest people in the world has a combined wealth of more than $1trillion equal to the annual income of the poorest 47% of the world 2.5 billion people.) High unemployment rate- It stands between 30% to 50%. In part of the Caribbean Commonwealth the figure is alarming; close to 70%. Unemployment is expected to climb up in the next half century. This is bleak for future of young people Lack of education of many young people. About 75million within the commonwealth countries lack primary education. Quality of education is poor and not very well related to the employment market Growing number of young men and women on the streets. Poor health. Most young people lacks access to good health. Limited access to drugs and adequate sanitation, majority of young men and women affected by HIV/ AIDS. It is now estimated that the virus is infecting about 7000 people in the world each day and most of them are young people. The fact that the UN Secretary General Kofi Anna calls for establishment of a global AIDS fund shows that cases of HIV/AIDS is not confined to certain boundaries within the world.
GLOBAL SITUATION OF HIV/AIDS AS AT 2001
- Country - Estimated number of infections
- Estimated number of orphans
- Estimated number of deaths from HIV infection
1 2 3
Africa 28.5million 11million 2.2million
Asia 6.6million - -
Caribbean and Latin America I.9million 584,000 100,000
Eastern Europe and Central Asia 1 million - -
South Africa has the highest world infections rate of 5million followed by India with 3.7million
(GLOBAL TREND OF HIV/AIDS - SOURCE UN AIDS)
This situation leads to a decline in the population of young people, young people heading families without no regular income, reduction in a country’s workforce etc.
NEED TO DEVELOP GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE
The world has become a global village. Our activities at the local level affect people globally;
There is the need to forge global networks of knowledge and opinion through information technology Need to be aware of global governance and how it can be made more democratic and accountable Need to be aware and be part of global trade issues.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE BY STAKEHOLDERS IN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The development of young people is everybody’s business, requiring concerted efforts of all stakeholders including governments, NGOs, the media, private sector, community net works, and above all, young people themselves.
Youth development work has been, in many cases, centred on the welfare approach which:
Views young people as presenting problems to be solved through the intervention of older people: Is based on a range of negative assumptions about young people: that they are responsible for crime, are immature and not ready for leadership roles: Is limited, perceiving young people as passive objects upon which interventions must act rather than as active subjects participating in the shaping of their lives and communities: Perpetuates the very problems that it seeks to solve.
Stakeholders needs to create a network of youth and youth organisations that stretches across the globe. Through connecting young people and organisations to each other and opportunities, we can gain strength to make positive impacts in our communities! The internet should be use as a platform, and we should aim at inspiring, informing and involving young people to take action locally while thinking globally.
National government needs to create youth policy with its plan of Action for implementation. It is obvious that no meaningful football can be played on an undemarcated field. Youth development must be put in a framework.
Governments must commit resources to youth development work to meet demand by young people. Youth ministry in most countries is the sector most ignored. In most countries sports and youth ministries are put together. The effect of this is that attention is given more to sports at the expense of youth work. Some countries do not even have youth ministry.
To succeed in preventing HIV transmission, countries need to work simultaneously on many fronts - for example, through schools, and provision of health facilities and services, in the workplace, through media campaigns and through outreach programme to sex workers. Drawing on practical experience from countries around the world that have best practices and have been able to reduce the infection rate. (Zambia and Uganda). There must be active youth participation in implementation of all programmes and projects meant for the youth. Young people are themselves the best resource for their development and their countries’development. They have strong, constructive views about development of their communities.
We need to engage seriously in citizenship education and citizen action.
For young people we need to get involves, stay involves, be responsible and discipline and through that process we can call ourselves global citizens. We should have this as our slogan Nothing is going to change my world but me. (adopted from Citizenyou 2002)
The questions we should ask ourselves, as governments and youth development workers are that;
- Is there clear relationship between planning and the demographic trends of young people?
- Are our interventions reflecting these demographic trends in education, training, employment and economic activities?
IGNORING THE YOUTH TODAY IS AT SOCIETY'S PERIL