Youth In The News: Millennials Becoming Spark Plugs For Social Change


This time we have decided to present to you both individual and group activities led by young people who have the vision to start a spark that could eventually result in social change. So be a good sport and devote some five minutes of your time today to learn about the social issues young people are facing in different parts of the world and some astonishing initiatives led by young people to solve them.

World Youth Organization founded by a teenager

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Being seventeen is pretty awesome: finishing up high school, starting to be more independent, and usually making a few silly decisions which you will either regret or laugh about later. I would say most Millennials have been there, and some of those decisions and choices were rather ridiculous. Unlike the majority of teens, however, Kieran Goodwin from Havering, East London, has made a decision which he will definitely not regret or laugh about later. He basically was fed up with youth organizations led by adults and decided to start a youth organization led by young people. The move is quite obvious, but no one dared to do it before he did. The young Keiran started working with a few charity organizations back in 2013 and got the idea to start a youth charity organization led by young people. Listening to his story about how he managed to succeed, and how he got his organization launched officially on the 11th of January in one of the most prestigious buildings in the world – the Houses of Parliament in London – one can only react by giving a standing ovation for this bright, young mind for showing the true face of the Millennials.

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Young Australians taking matters into their own hands

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It’s the year 2016, and for most of us that means we are living in a multi-cultural environment. Most of us have been raised alongside people from different cultures, origins, and races. However, multiculturalism and globalization have yet not affected all parts of the world. One of the problematic areas is the rural part of Australia. Young people from different backgrounds living there have faced various forms of racism, and they have decided to do something about it. Meeting at the ABC’s 2016 Heywire Regional Youth Summit in Canberra, they developed a project to implement social change in their local communities. The outcome of their project is the opportunity for schools, councils, and not-for-profit groups to apply and share the $100 000 budget granted to them by the Heywire program. They can tackle multiple social issues including racism, gender inequality, homophobia, or methamphetamine addiction. This is a group of young people who have grown up facing these issues, and now they are working within their communities to solve them. They are not aiming too high, they know one project cannot make a big difference in the mindset of all citizens, all they want to do is start a spark.

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Rwanda Youth promoting anti-genocide ideology

While many youth issues are the same around the globe, one cannot deny that each country faces specific social issues that youth has to face and cope with. The social issues youth must face are more difficult in some countries than in other. Without underestimating the gravity of any social issue, one has to emphasize the efforts of young people from Rwanda and their determination to deal with, and fight against, the ideology of genocide in their country. During the past week, a national commemoration was held for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. To mark this occasion, an association called Happy Generation Rwanda launched a countrywide campaign to educate young people to fight against the ideology of genocide. Their project was launched last weekend with by a „walk to remember“, which started in Kacyiru Taxi Park and proceeded to the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. The desire of these young people is to educate youth in order to prevent this ideology from succeeding and killing more people than it already has. Their generation, our generation – the Millennials from Rwanda – were both among those who perpetrated the genocide and those who fought against it. Now, today, in this same country thousands of young people will have the chance to open their eyes and say no to this type of ideology.

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Indigenous Youth Games organized in Brazil

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Talking about youth and the social environment, this week we must mention a superb initiative coming from beautiful Brazil, which was the host country for the first Indigenous Peoples’ World Games last year. After this project, which was extremely successful and drew participants from 50 ethnic groups coming from 22 countries, the organizers decided to keep it up. So this year, just last week, the first Indigenous Youth Games of Pataxos nations took place in Brazil. The event was held in Santa Cruz de Cabralia. The participants had a vast number of games and activities to choose from, from traditional games like spear throwing or tora competition (racing while carrying a log) to more modern games like soccer. The event was filled with native Brazilian music, providing an opportunity for young people to dance or sing along. This initiative, designed to empower the indigenous population, should definitely be supported in the future. And we wish to see these youth games taken to an international level, allowing young people to celebrate their traditions and origins while meeting youth from other indigenous cultures.

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