The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the reset button on the imagination, scope, and pursuit of ambitions within the young generation. It has also made them vulnerable to isolation, mental health challenges, as well as lack of engagement and ideation.
At the same time, COVID-19 has exasperated global problems of hunger, migrant workers, displaced people, poverty, and violent conflicts.
The United Nations SDG Goals are at the risk of not being achieved by 2030. Globally, youth need to be empowered to transition as change agents. Youth need to collaborate and build capacity to ensure they are adept at tackling these challenges and empowering themselves to drive change.
Teenspire Global Mission's analysis from the 2020 survey, which captured the pulse of 1500 young people world-wide, is that youth globally want to make a difference at the grassroots level to challenges overwhelming policymakers, governments, and humanity. The desire to tackle critical issues is strong yet the avenues of where to embark on the journey are unclear and the definition of success very limited.
Are we being fair to our young generation?
65.5% of youth are not aware of the United Nations SDG Goals in developing countries.
Whilst 84.3% of young people are aware that the world’s biggest problem is hunger, they see no correlation between the problem and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, a majority of young people did not have any understanding of the Sustainable
57.9% are also aware that violent conflicts, and disasters, have left 168 million people in need of aid this year. Yet, they see these problems in isolation, empathize with them, but have no real context to the underlying reasons, or potential solutions. Neither do they relate them back to the United Nation’s SDG goals
The lack of connection and their inability to see themselves as contributing members to impact solutions is a wake-up call for us and definitely something we need to change collectively. Youth makeup 25% of the world's population, and are an influential voice to drive change if empowered to do so.
Our conclusion is, if we made them aware of the issues and created mechanisms and playbooks by which youth could have the ability to influence and impact the outcomes, the world would definitely be a better place.