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Empowered Youth; Leaders of Tomorrow

Population growth is usually pointed out as one of the main negative factors to consider in any developing and sustainable countries. Increasing pressure on finite natural resources is an inevitable result of rapid population growth.

The world’s population increases by 220,000 every day and will be over 6 billion by the end of the century. In 1990, the Youth population (15-24 years) of the world was approximately 1.01 billion or 19.1% and the number of children (0-14 years) was reckoned to be about 1.7 billion or 32.2% of the world’s population. In the year 2000, it became 1.19 billion for youth and 2.01 billion for children. Children and youth combined therefore make up slightly more than half of the total population of the world. Their characteristics represent the legacy of the recent past and the successes or failures of policies. Their aspirations and opportunities are also indicators of the characteristics of adults in the near future because the world of the future depends on the youth of today.

We should care about young people and help them lead active and fulfilled roles within our community. Young people are unique and diverse, and we seek to support and empower them. It is good to see young people empowered across the world.

Youth empowerment is a process where children and young people are encouraged to take charge of their lives. This is done to address situation and then take action in order to improve their access to resources and transform their consciousness through their beliefs, values, and attitudes. It also aims to improve quality of life and achieve it through participation in youth empowerment programs.

As Dr. Jose Rizal once stated in his work that the youth is the hope of the nation (for a brighter future), we should therefore empower them as we empower the future.

According to the Knight Foundation, statistics also show a gap. ‘Often that energy, that desire to contribute or lead, is going unsupported and untapped, they said.’ Teens and young adults don’t always see a place for their voice and their work.’ They feel unwelcome, perhaps a result of negative messages about youth coming from adults and even the media.

Youth around the world feel fear and despair when they think about what the current situation could mean for their future. While this generation has the most at stake when it comes to preventing chaos, many young people don’t know where to start in addressing the issues. Many youth are looking for ways to be a part of the solution, but need the training and support to take the next step.

The inner leaders in the youth of today should be cultivated so that the people of tomorrow can already face the critical issues in the future. In order to address such here are some ways to bring out the empowered youth leaders ready for the next generation:

Support them in anything they wanted and put up a positive connection for young people to develop their skills, capacities, and abilities.

Provide them places where their voices are heard and treated respectfully without judging and criticizing them.

Open to them an opportunity to show who they are and discover more about their selves.

Instill to them that they are a role model of positive attitude.

Promote to them the essence of team work.

Enhance their abilities in problem solving, brainstorming, and reflecting.

Encourage them to continue their passion especially if it is for good.

Teach them professionalism.

Develop their critical awareness.

Give them a chance to fail and find out their way to success.

Encourage them to implement projects or share ideas in order to support their progress.

These youth empowerment programs aimed to create healthier and higher qualities of life for underprivileged or at-risk youth.

The five competencies of a healthy youth are: positive sense of self, self- control, decision-making skills, a moral system of belief, and pro-social connectedness. Developmental interventions and programs have to be anchored on these competencies that define positive outcomes of healthy youth.

Every young person in the community should feel the support that we could give them through difficult times with a range of services and programs. It’s time for us now to work hard and empower vulnerable young people and give them the skills and confidence to lead positive and independent lives.