- 29 March 2017
- by Ms. Nyandiko Kimwele
- Category: Blog
Our Two Cents on Youth Civic Engagement
The recently launched United Nations World Youth Report, Youth Civic Engagement, highlights that, by engaging in civic activities, young people can help create the types of communities that are needed for positive youth development.
According to Brennan, the contributions of young people to community development have often been overlooked or underestimated, even though it is known that community and resiliency (the capacity to cope under stress) contribute significantly to the well-being of youth. More simply, strong communities are needed to promote youth resiliency and vice versa.
Communities can benefit from youth participation in the identification of problems and solutions relevant to young people and the community as a whole.
Collaborative civic action creates connectedness between community members and highlights the importance of young people as civic actors.
Research has also shown that youth civic engagement can help young people develop the capacity to serve in organizations and eventually transition into community leaders who contribute to the long-term success and sustainability of community development efforts. Furthermore, youth civic engagement can enhance the democratic process by bringing new energy, ideas and perspectives into the community.
The more we meaningfully engage youth and work with young people as equal partners in building our societies, the better our chances of realising a better world for all.
We see the sense in this statement appearing in the World Youth Report, “The perpetuation of the view of young people as instigators of violence rather than as peace builders is unfair, as the majority of young people worldwide espouse the ideals of peace and security." This has been evidenced through our Regional Peace Program that actively engages youth involvement in preventing and countering violent extremism and in our support to the numerous youth projects which address childhood poverty, at a grassroots level.
The more we meaningfully engage youth and work with young people as equal partners in building our societies, the better our chances of realising a better world for all. Not bad for two cents.
Find out more about the report here.