Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg’s intense speech at the September 2019 UN Climate Summit has taken the world by storm. Meanwhile, Emma Gonzalez, a shooting survivor in the February 2018 Stoneman Douglas High School incident, took a stand against the National Rifles Association (NRA) for valuing gun ownership above student safety.
More and more teenagers like you are leading and inspiring global youth movements to secure the future. Take a look at these youth organizations, and check out how they strive to make the world a better place. (Maybe you join ‘em too!)
Scouting (or the Scout movement) is one of the largest youth movements in the world— a non-political educational movement that’s open to young people regardless of gender, origin, race or creed. Chances are, you know of them through the famous Boy Scouts and Girls Scout. You might even be one!
Fun fact: There are about 50 million Scouts in 200 countries!
Scouting actually began in 1907. There are National Scout Organizations all over the world, and they are focused on local issues like drug abuse prevention, job skills training, environmental conservation, and much more. Just like the Scouts, try exploring your interests and learn new skills via internships and join workshops (award yourself a badge for every single one you join!)
AIESEC is the world’s largest youth-run organization, and they’re big on leadership development and cross-cultural global internships or volunteering. Present in over 120 countries, AIESEC was born from a wish by the youth to truly understand and unite the world (after WWII happened). This youth leadership movement helps young people experience and understand cultures that are far from their own. They also work with the United Nations to fulfill the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
If you wish to broaden your horizons and learn the way of life outside your own (just like the members of AIESEC), consider studying abroad for college.
Are you passionate about saving the environment? Or were you recently inspired to do so by Greta Thunberg? Then check out Youth Climate Leaders (YCL)! YCL is a youth platform where young leaders showcase their natural climate solutions (such as ways to reduce carbon emissions) at the United Nations. They also engage with world leaders, experts, and decision-makers to address urgent issues.
They also function as a Global Network that connects the youth to climate-related professional development opportunities and careers. Not sure how to start? Here’s an easy guide so you can start an eco-friendly student lifestyle.
4. Sawa World
Sawa World, headquartered in Uganda, has a big mission: they aim to end extreme poverty for one billion people (who are living on a dollar a day or less). The NGO empowers people through local leaders (who have experienced extreme poverty themselves). With the use of new media technology, the leaders develop small-scale enterprise solutions that are documented and shared by Sawa Youth Reporters—unemployed youth in their communities who are trained by media partners.
The youth reporters create short videos, social media posts, radio broadcasts, and other updates all about the solutions that the leaders have created. The reason? To inform and inspire other unemployed youth. The surrounding communities then replicate the solutions to improve their livelihood.
Feeling inspired to join these incredible youth organizations? Do you want to start your own movement someday? Like Nelson Mandela said, “The future belongs to the youth.” The fate of the world is actually in your hands, and you could be the one to invent a solution to help people around the world. We truly believe that you are more than capable of becoming a change-maker.
Find more information about the Gen Z community through Edukasyon.ph, and check out our Commune blog section for more tips and advice that will help you succeed in your education-to-career journey.