Celebrate Youth this August
Since 2000, the United Nations has hosted its annual International Youth Day to raise awareness about obstacles faced by youth around the globe. Rather than focusing only on the negative, International Youth Day highlights what children themselves are doing to beat the odds and change the world. This year’s theme, “Transforming Education,” will focus on how youth have taken education into their own hands to create a better future for everyone.
Here are some ideas on how you can celebrate youth this year.
In our individualistic society, we can become blind to what is happening around us. Alternatively, too much information can make us numb to the horrors that we already know exist. This August, open your eyes, ears and heart to the needs of children. Learn more about the history of International Youth Day at the UN’s website.
Volunteer with Young People
There are hundreds of nonprofits focused on improving the lives of children. Whether you want to read with children or take them to the park or teach them about nature, you can find an organization that speaks to your passions and interests. A good place to start is by checking out VolunteerMatch, a website dedicated to helping people find volunteer opportunities in their neighborhoods. You can choose to volunteer for just one day, but you may find an organization that keeps you coming back for years.
Don’t forget, Youth and Students for Peace (YSP) is inviting anyone and everyone to the International Youth Day event at the United Nations on August 13. Click here for more information.
Donate to a Charity
Don’t have a lot of space in your schedule for volunteering? Consider donating money instead. You may not feel very rich, but remember that a U.S. dollar can make a big dent in many parts of the world. If you don’t already have a youth-related charity in mind, don’t worry. You can browse through thousands of charities on Charity Navigator, a website that rates charities by factors like their financial transparency and overhead cost. Or you can check out GiveWell, a nonprofit that rates charities by how cost-effective they are at saving and improving lives.
Spend Time with a Child in Your Life
Whether it’s your own child, a nephew or niece, or even a younger sibling, there are children all around us who need attention and encouragement to succeed. This August, spend time with a child and learn more about his or her passions and goals. Pick an activity they love and do it together. You may find that your own inner child enjoys it just as much.
Share your own ideas in the comments below.