Today We celebrate International Youth Day
Annually, on August 12th, International Youth Day is being celebrated in many countries around the world as a day for drawing attention to a given set of legal, political and cultural issues surrounding youth.
The International Youth Day was announced on August 12, 2000 by the United Nations as a day for governments and others to draw attention to youth issues worldwide. Annually, various cultural events, workshops, concerts, and meetings take place around the world in which national and local government officials including youth organizations participate.
This year, the objective of International Youth Day is to amplify the message that all the generations need to take an active role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition to that, the International Youth Day will raise awareness on certain barriers to intergenerational solidarity, especially ageism, which affects young and old people while having detrimental effects on society. Ageism is an unaddressed issue in health, human rights and development and affects both older and younger populations around the world. Furthermore, ageism regularly intersects with other forms of bias (such as racism and sexism) and impacts people in ways that prevent them to reach their full potential and comprehensively contribute to their community.
The Global Report on Ageism launched by the United Nations in March 2021 highlights that despite lack of research, young people continue to report age-related barriers in various spheres of their lives such as employment, political participation, health and justice. The report also identifies intergenerational interventions as one of the three key strategies to address ageism. Intergenerational activities can also lead to a greater sense of social connectedness and strengthen intergenerational solidarity.
EFDN has launched several projects and organized programs in collaboration with European football clubs related to all young participants who are struggling with legal, social, political, and cultural issues surrounding them. These projects and programs are meant to focus on social connectedness and strengthen intergenerational solidarity as well as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
EFDN Youth Exchanges
EFDN Youth Exchanges allow clubs to provide groups of young people from different countries to meet, live together and work on shared projects for short periods. Youth Exchanges take place outside the conventional environment of the participants. At an EFDN Exchange programme, participants take part in activities such as workshops, exercises, debates, role-plays, outdoor activities and more, that work towards shared themes of objectives.
During a Youth Exchange EFDN wants to promote the involvement of young people in their communities, and to discuss the potential invisible barriers in society. Strategies to overcome these barriers will be explored. The exchange will make participants feel confident in taking part in all aspects of society and teach them a lot about life of young people from vastly different countries and cultures. It will also improve their language skills. In that way a Youth Exchange brings the ideal of global citizenship to life. Participants are encouraged to use this foreign opportunity to represent their home countries and share their own culture, while learning about and embracing a new one, forging the way to becoming young ambassadors for peace and international understanding. Participants also learn a lot about themselves. About their own character, good features, shortcomings, abilities, power and… what the effect of all this is on others.
EFDN Youth Exchanges already have proven itself; there are examples of youngsters going home a completely different person. In the past years, Youth Exchanges took place among others in Arnhem,Tel Aviv,Rotterdam, Larnaca and Nijmegen. The exchange programmes are organised in partnership with the National Erasmus Agencies and the participant’s learning experiences are recognised through a Youth Pass qualification.
SDG Striker is a project coordinated by Ecoserveis (ECO), a non-profit organization specialized in environment and energy which has been working at the local and environmental level to promote sustainability since 1992 and is a leading reference in energy culture in Spain. The project is funded by the ERASMUS+ Programme of the European Union.
Its goal is to increase the organisational capacity for Good Governance in grassroots sports organisations by assisting them to implement and communicate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will be achieved through ad hoc action at the local level so they can align themselves with European national and local public policy on the SDGs and by developing a joint understanding about best practices before, during and after being tested, and assess their potential for replication across the national federation and beyond national borders.
To achieve these goals, the project participants designed three pilots that will be implemented in Europe to provide an example of incorporation of the SDGs as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) framework for improving the good governance in three grassroots sports organisations. These practices will be evaluated and validated from an academic point of view.
- a pilot on photovoltaics potential and feasibility on sport facilities, implemented in Portugal
- a pilot on microplastics, implemented in Norway
- and a pilot on reducing energy bills in facilities and vulnerable families in Scotland