Today, on International Youth Day, thousands of young people are taking to the streets, in over 40 countries worldwide, to call on their 1.8 billion peers to seize their moment in history and change the world.
This year’s Youth Day sees the passing of a major milestone in human history – it is the last time that the planet will have more people under 30 years of age than over it.
The phenomenon, known as ‘Peak Youth’, observes that the largest global youth population in history, currently at 1.8 billion, is starting to plateau.
Campaigners for the Youth Power movement, led by Restless Development and connecting over 100 youth organisations worldwide, are using the UN recognised day to rally their peers into action. They want young people to take the lead on the Global Sustainable Development Goals and make sure world leaders keep the promises they laid out to them.
“If we change the way we think about youth, if we change the way we talk about young people, then we will find that young people will change our world for the better. This era of ‘Peak Youth’ is an historic opportunity for us all. The challenge is whether we will take it up.” said Nik Hartley OBE, CEO of Restless Development.
A wide variety of events are taking place across the world today. From a ‘Talent Explosion’ show in Sierra Leone, to a roundtable with young people and decision makers in Uganda, and a Festival of creative workshops including spoken-word, zine making and mobile journalism in the UK.
Primrose Manyalo, Youth Power Campaign Coordinator in Zimbabwe, said:
“Young people are the hardest hit by the effects of climate change, poverty and inequalities. Two out of three countries do not consult young people when preparing national development plans for the Global Goals. We must change this. We are strongest when we stand together – at 1.8 billion strong we can change the world.”
Inspirational young people around the world are trying to change the world for the better.
Watch the story of three inspiring young people: Alaro, from Kenya, Eva from Tanzania, and Soniya from Nepal, doing their bit to improve lives for others, below: