INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY 2022 – SOLIDARITY AMONG ALL AGES
12 August 2022
The United Nations in Palestine is celebrating International Youth Day 2022 with Palestinians of all ages. Only with solidarity and collaboration can the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) be reached.
In Palestine, 60% of the population is under the age of 24. Globally, and in Palestine, young people can play a central role in fostering solidarity with other generations. Young people want to contribute to their communities, propose innovative solutions and drive social progress. But Palestinian youth face tremendous challenge accessing their rights, including to quality education, healthcare and decent work. Youth unemployment remains high with stark regional differences: 68.9% in the Gaza Strip and 27.8% in the West Bank. Data shows that less than 1 percent of the Palestinian youth work in decision-making positions.
Despite the challenges, every day I witness creativity and determination of young Palestinians. Yaqeen, 20 years old from Salfit, is a computer engineering student and he designed the “Breadcrumbs Initiative” to reuse leftover bread to produce fodder for local livestock and poultry farmers.
Raghad, 22 years old from Hebron, has followed her passion for design, drawing and handiwork and recently became a goldsmith and designer. After participating in a TVET training program she now works at one of Hebron's largest companies.
Salah, 21 years old and a law student from Gaza's Al-Nseerat refugee camp, recently ranked among the four winners of the Social Enterprise Hackathon with her Gaza Children Cinema Initiative.
Ghada, a Palestine refugee of 22 years old, is one of 97 technicians from the first class of a solar energy course at the UNRWA Gaza Training Centre (GTC). She is breaking barriers in a field dominated globally by men while addressing the impact of climate change.
The United Nations in Palestine is committed to work for and with young people to promote civic participation, socio-economic engagement, and leadership across communities. Efforts to promote interaction between people of different generations to reduce intergroup prejudice and stereotypes will continue.
We must all use International Youth Day to remind ourselves that all generations – young and old – can be changemakers. Better together!