Today, there are 1.2 billion people worldwide that come within the age bracket of 10-24 years of age. This is nearly 1 in every 6 people that reside over the globe. This massive bloc of people has the potential to be the most active and influential group, however, with the continued disenfranchisement of youth, it makes this age demographic a breeding ground for fostering extremism. That is a trend we must reduce and these are a few ways in which youth can help in tackling conflict and building peace:
Make proper use of social media:
It is a well-known fact that the youth of today, disproportionately excessively uses social media when compared to other age groups. However, this does not have to be a negative thing. In the age of internet, it is very easy to get information across to others and to get information from others to you. When social media is used as a positive resource, it can do wonders for those using it. For example, if one wants to protest the vote on a bill by one’s local government, then one can just tweet for help and get multiple ready to go.
A large part of advocacy is trying to get relevant information to as many people as one can and social media provides the perfect platform for this. At Youth for Peace International, we believe that a tweet can educate tens, an article hundreds and a protest, thousands and that everyone should make the most of this opportunity.
Getting involved in your community:
Anyone who has ever been in a conflict zone or a conflict prone area can attest to the difficulty of movement in that region, however even in times like that, there are multiple ways to get involved. Becoming a grassroots activist in your neighbourhood can be a great way to keep getting out there and engaging with your community. We can see through the examples of Hong Kong, how neighbourhood activism sprouted into one of the largest protests on Chinese soil and through the example of Brazil, how grassroots activism can manage to get even heads of state impeached. Facing adversity is natural and omnipresent but it is how one responds to adversity that shows their dedication and commitment.
Joining organisations with goals similar to your own:
Human beings are their best selves when faced with problems and that is true in this scenario as well. Whenever there are regions in turmoil, organisations such as the UN and its member bodies develop humanitarian missions and host conferences to find solutions to the existent problems.
These talks and conferences are only successful when a number of people have an interest in finding resolving the conflict come together and give opinions and form solutions. There have been multiple aid missions to countries in need of help and rebuilding which have been partial or complete successes thanks to the support of the people in and around the region.
The youth of today, have been largely ignored when it comes to government and policy decisions but together, we can change that fact. As peacebuilders and as young custodians of this world, it falls upon us to make sure that we do not tear each other apart but live together in harmony and we can only achieve that when we act as one and work together. It may not be cut and dry or easy, but it is without a doubt, essential and rewarding.
Picture Credits: Kunal Raj