International Youth Day dubbed “Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World of All Ages” seeks to acknowledge the importance of youth efforts in leadership. Today, the world needs to leverage the ultimate potential of all generations which is fundamental to sustainable development. Through collaboration with key stakeholders, there will be an equitable intergenerational relations and partnerships to ensure no one is left behind. It is key to explore the importance of meaningful youth inclusion, mental health considerations and safe environs for the youth globally.
Young people however, reiterate that they are only used by stakeholders to assist in campaigns but not directly involved in real-time issues concerning having a voice in decision-making tables. These age-related barriers also impact them negatively in terms of long-term job acquisition, political participation and justice which deeply affect their wellbeing.The turning point in this year’s International Youth Day theme, Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World of All Ages, is to amplify the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind. This year’s theme also creates awareness on specific barriers to intergenerational solidarity notably, inclusion, ageism, protection and mental well-being which impacts both the young and older persons while having massive effects in the society at large.
It is time that we create a world for all ages where every individual feels included in development processes. Through deliberate collaboration among youth and stakeholders together this coalition can promote successful partnerships for positive youth development. Youth need to come out in numbers and ensure they are meaningfully involved in program decisions, monitoring and evaluation so that they can track progress of inclusive development. It is time a world of all ages is created where everyone is involved and feedback also given in a purposeful manner.
There is a need to connect people to ideas to advocate for and address issues that are deeply affecting them. Young changemakers therefore contribute greatly by making the world a better place by contributing their knowledge and skills by participating in research and sharing findings of the ills faced by their communities to further cocreate solutions that would enhance the well-being and positive livelihoods of their target audiences. Hearing from everybody is very key to ensure intergenerational solidarity.
On wholistic approaches to ensure intergenerational solidarity, intersectionality in addressing issues is important in the aspect of partnerships, being comfortable with contrasting ideas from everyone with a vision of learning. Empathy is the center of all because this is the only sure way of not leaving anyone behind in terms of inclusive decision making. Our future clearly depends on breaking any existing bias by allowing people of all ages contribute meaningfully to sustained development through deliberate collaboration where we can promote successful and equitable intergenerational relations.
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