In 1999, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day (IYD). This is a day set aside and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly, for governments, institutions, organizations, and individuals to draw attention to youth centered issues globally. It is a special day where the world comes together to celebrate young people and renew our commitment to do all that we can to support them. UNICEF, as an organization, has announced that it would commit to doing all it can to keep the young safe and protected. International Youth Day gives an opportunity to celebrate and mainstream young peoples’ voices, actions and initiatives, as well as their meaningful, universal and equitable engagement. Independently organized commemorations around the world recognize the importance of youth participation in political, economic and social life and processes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in severe economic and social impacts around the world. Young people are particularly vulnerable to the disruptions the pandemic has caused, and many are now at risk of being left behind in education, economic opportunities, and health and well-being during a crucial stage of their life development. Young people are more likely to be unemployed or to be in precarious job contracts and working arrangements, and thus, lack adequate social protection. At the same time, young people are responding to the crisis through public health promotion, volunteering and innovation.
Youth Engagement for Global Action
The theme of International Youth Day 2020, “Youth Engagement for Global Action” seeks to highlight the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
LoveWorld Teens Ministry globally, celebrated this year’s International Youth Day (IYD) with an impactful lineup of events. LoveWorld Teens Ministry is focused on teenagers and young adults in the Church Ministry of LoveWorld Inc., a unique and dynamic ministry called by God to play a chief role in the end time move of the Holy Spirit. Their Vision is to take God’s divine presence to all nations and people of the world, demonstrating the character of the Spirit. Rev Chris Oyakhilome DSc. DD. who is the President of LoveWorld Inc. has a passion to see lives transformed by the power of God.
A special teens conference tagged ‘the Watchman Conference’ was held across all Christ Embassy Churches globally on August 12, 2020. Other unique activities in the LoveWorld Teens Ministry include the ‘5 Million Outreaches’ soul winning campaign, which will run from August to October 2020, TeeVo Titans Contest, several forms of community services including: community sanitization, special visitation to hospitals, relief materials to the needy and lots more.
The vast majority of challenges humanity currently faces, such as the COVID-19 outbreak and climate change require concerted global action and the meaningful engagement and participation of young people to be addressed effectively. Building up the capacity of youth to be able to make their own decisions on health and to take responsibility for health is also a key element.
This year’s IYD seeks to put the spotlight on youth engagement through the following three interconnected streams:
- Engagement at the local/community level;
- Engagement at the national level (formulation of laws, policies, and their implementation); and,
- Engagement at the global level.
The role of governments as well as youth organizations and community groups will be essential to ensure that trustworthy public health information is disseminated. Young people themselves are also utilizing online technologies to spread public health information in engaging ways such as videos to promote effective handwashing or explain how social distancing can save lives.
Young innovators are already responding to the virus through social impact innovation. Around the world, a number of initiatives are being developed to leverage young people’s efforts to generate and deliver support to at-risk populations or populations affected by the pandemic. Whilst most of these initiatives are on a voluntary basis (e.g. young people offering to shop for and deliver food to elders or at-risk people), they can also take the shape of social enterprises. Many youth-driven technology innovation hubs are supporting startups to develop effective solutions to address COVID-19.
The Lord has called us to do big things for Him and His Kingdom, and we want to do them together with you. So why not join us and let’s serve Him together. Become a vital part of our vision of reaching the world for Jesus Christ, blessing the nations of the world and making our Lord known to the ends of the earth.