Ultimately, today, young people aged 10 to 24 make up one quarter of the world’s population. It is the motivations and aspirations of the youth today that will shape the future.
What is Youth Empowerment?
Youth empowerment is a process whereby young people obtain the ability, authority, and agency to form decisions and implement change in their own lives and the lives of those around them. It is a cause that is increasingly prevalent today, affecting the health and wellbeing of young people and their motivation and opportunities to succeed. It also impacts the economic circumstances of both the inner and wider communities. Issues surrounding youth empowerment are even more relevant in light of the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on many young people, from their mental and physical health to their learning and professional development.
What I have learnt from the Youth Empowerment Internship
Throughout my research of youth empowerment, I have found that my local area, along with various surrounding districts, has been recently named in the top 20 worst affected areas in the UK for child poverty following a study by the Department for Work and Pensions. This alarming finding is pertinent to the Youth Empowerment Internship and made me realise the importance of organisations that cover such issues and the need to raise awareness of youth empowerment causes in my local area.
I was unaware of the wide variety of charitable causes local to me, many relying on volunteers that are passionate about the causes they represent. Just a few of the charities I have discovered through my research include those that deal with educational services, sporting facilities and even musical theatre. Yetga charity specialises in the advancement and education of the public in my local area in performing arts by providing training, education and participation in the performing arts and associated art forms and competencies. Sport 4 Life is another charity I found particularly interesting. Their mission is to help young people move into sustained education, training, and work through sports-themed personal development.
During this process I have gained a greater understanding of the differing ways in which a diverse range of organisations aim to provide and facilitate the needs of young people, all with the same mission in mind – to give them the opportunity to create a better future for themselves.
Why advocate for Youth Empowerment?
There are countless benefits to advocating for youth empowerment. Here are just a few key reasons why youth empowerment causes are so important:
- It allows children and young people to establish and develop their skills and strengths, making them responsible and self-reliant. By doing this, it instils in young individuals a sense of autonomy.
- It makes young people more self-aware and better equipped to deal with the anxieties and obstacles they may face going forward as they transition into adult life, providing strategies to encourage resourcefulness and take charge of their own lives.
- Youth empowerment can greatly curb the rate of poverty. When we empower the youth, we equip them with essential skills which they can utilize to better themselves and assist others, boosting their employability and ultimately improving economic productivity. This will in-turn contribute to a reduction in the unemployment rate and positively impact national GDP.
- Empowerment ensures that young people have the necessary skills to sustain a livelihood, enabling them to differentiate wrong from right, and in turn teaching them how to forge a respectable living away from a path of crime and lawlessness.
Ultimately, today, young people aged 10 to 24 make up one quarter of the world’s population. It is the motivations and aspirations of the youth today that will shape the future. We must continue to give young people a voice, and support the causes that help our youth to grow and develop.
By Macey Williams for Studenteer
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