The International Youth Day (IYD) was first observed on 12th August, 2000 after the day was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1999. The objective of the day is to effectively position the world attention to the issues confronting the youths across the globe. These issues have damaging effects on the society in general and the right steps must be taken to arrest them.

The International Youth Day (IYD) is observed to celebrate to admonish the innate and learned skills as well as the importance towards national development and the world at large. The day is set aside to note the myriads of issues facing the youths and how to address them. Youths are faced with issues ranging from hunger, poverty, little or no access to basic and qualitative amenities which can enhance their talents and wellbeing, terminal diseases and infections, drug abuse, rape, bully among others.

A lot is being offered by the young people towards advancing the cause of development across different fields of human endeavours. In agriculture, tech, sports, engineering and volunteering on social cause. The just concluded Commonwealth Games is apt example which shows the strength and importance of youths in societies across the wider world.

Hence, it is important they are equipped with the requisite education, skills, empowerment and affordable care. The International Youth Day (IYD) also focuses on the different challenges faced by the youths across the whole world. Most young people, especially in the developing have been denied access to basic education and healthy nutrition, health care services which serve great impediment from maximizing their potentials. We must as a matter of immense urgency help the young children grow into promising youths. The best time to do that is now.

Hundreds of organizations across the globe have been involved in different campaigns which primary objectives are centred on youth development, engagements and the inclusion in important youth projects aimed at addressing the challenges facing them across the globe. Scholarship programmes, leadership conferences, empowerment trainings career talks etc have been organized for the betterment and explicit repositioning of the youth. Though more of these intervention programs are needed in developing nations

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations was initiated to address many of the challenges facing the young people across the globe. The Gates and Melinda Foundation, The Mandela Washington Fellowship among others have contributed in no small measure to youths uplifting and have committed to help solve those issues.

The year’s theme calls for the continuing support for the objectives underlying the International Youth Day (IYD) and the best approaches to go about it from one generation to the other across centuries. No meaningful development will ever be made by any nation if adequate sacrifices and investments are not made in the interest of the young people.

Eyitayo Oyepitan is a Youth and Drug Education Advocate. He writes from Idobilayo.

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