International Youth Day is celebrated every year on August 12. The day was established by the United Nations in 1999 to recognize the importance of young people and their role in society. This day provides an opportunity to shed light on the challenges of the need for concerted efforts from governments, communities, and corporations to empower and support young individuals.
The theme for International Youth Day 2023 is “Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD).”
This year’s International Youth Day theme is particularly important, as it highlights the importance of green skills for young people in the transition to a more sustainable future. Green skills are the knowledge, abilities, values, and attitudes needed to live in, develop, and support a sustainable and resource-efficient society.
The youth today encounter numerous challenges that hinder their personal and professional growth. One of the primary concerns is education. Many young people lack access to quality education due to economic disparities, inadequate infrastructure, and the prevalence of child labor. Unemployment and underemployment are also major obstacles. The lack of job opportunities, especially for fresh graduates, often leads to frustration among the youth.
Furthermore, mental health issues among the youth have been on the rise, attributed to academic pressures, societal expectations, and the impact of social media. Social exclusion and discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, or disability further marginalize many young individuals, preventing them from realizing their full potential.
There has been a growing recognition of corporations’ role in empowering youth and addressing the challenges they face. Many companies have integrated CSR programs focusing on youth development, education, mental support, and skill-building. These initiatives benefit the youth and contribute to the company’s long-term sustainability and social impact.
Several companies have shown exemplary dedication to youth empowerment through their CSR initiatives –
International Youth day is a vital reminder to society of the immense potential and challenges young people face all over the world. CSR initiatives, including education, employment, mental health, and advocacy, are critical in empowering youth and fostering their development.
By recognizing the significance of youth and investing in their well-being and growth, corporations contribute to the youth’s future and a sustainable and prosperous world for all. As we celebrate International Youth Day, let us reiterate our commitment to supporting and empowering the youth to shape a brighter future.