“Being Young Means Being Responsible” – the Role of Youth in the Pandemic

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The young adults play an important role in public’s awareness of safety precautions and social services amid the current Covid-19 situation. This was the cornerstone statement of the recent Online Joint Session with International Youth Activists, mainly from the British and Pakistani Youth Parliaments. We joined them to discuss the role of Youth in aim to analyse the social impact of the COVID19 situation, and also to share our unique personal experience and guidance with other attendees.

The role of youth during the pandemic
The covid-19 conference

 

Responding to the firm belief that young adults must play an important role in terms of the public’s awareness of safety precautions and social services, the Session offered a chance to unite international youth on a common platform so that they can jointly take initiatives in order to alleviate the consequences of the crisis.

 

About the Session

On May 12th 2020 the Session drew more than 50 participants: parliamentarians from multiple countries, media representatives, social and youth activists, experts, senators, and other noteworthy guests from Pakistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

The conference was an occasion for Youth representatives to plan and execute activist social campaigns during the crisis that could help them to put in place a sustainable strategy for increasing the public’s awareness of the emerging problems.

The main topics discussed during the Session were: social activities, the awareness campaign, the acknowledgment of Volunteerism by International Youth, the role of NGOs, and future challenges such as business development and media influence. Bridging cultural gaps and blending diversity to promote harmony – were the highlights of this conference.

 

The Biggest Challenge

The ways young people can contribute to the fight against the crisis are various: formalizing a social awareness campaign, providing facts and statistics through social, print, and electronic media, and networking with International Youth Activists, who have a crucial role raising awareness among the communities of the elderly who may not have access to news, relevant sources, or academic studies. All attendees agreed that this is one of the biggest challenges that we are facing today, especially in the Pandemic situation.

The crisis encompasses the whole world, with no exceptions, and this fact determines how we should act. It seems that there is no other way than by participating collectively and actively.

Participants emphasized that we cannot depend on Government only, we should all participate in helping each other, because being young means being responsible, and we should all make changes that will have an impact on future generations.

Tazeen Hassen, the freelance journalist, and researcher said that the role of the media is crucial because it has a strong impact all over the world. That is the reason why we should learn how to distinguish fake news and conspiracy theories from the truth, she said. Our role is to stop spreading fake news and to educate people in the field of media literacy.

 

Focusing on the Bright Side

One example of this practice is Youth Time Magazine, an online platform for young people all over the world, which has made a strong effort in the media literacy field during the COVID-19 situation and has published articles about the ethics of reporting during the crisis: Behind the Curtains: The Burdens of Reporting During a Pandemic, True or False? How to Check Information on the Internet, physical state in quarantine: Keeping Calm during a Global Panic: Experts’ Opinions.

Anthea McIntyre, MEP, Former Chairperson of Friends of Kashmir in The European Parliament, said that young people should contribute their ideas to try to find their own answers, but the most important thing is to think about the future and the world they want to live in.

This is the reason why the Youth Time International Movement during the crisis has had a strategy to share positive thinking and to look on the bright sight of the future, to educate young people with the aim of providing quality content which will be inspiring for the future challenges.

The results of this approach have included The International Summer School: Future Skills Workplace for Sustainability, which all participants can apply for until the 30th of May. The International Youth Time Movement also is offering the opportunity to win a Scholarship for this event, but all you need to do is to take a chance. More you can discover here.

Photo: Shutterstock

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