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Last Saturday evening, I was invited as chief guest at a residential college on the passing out of their class 12. The college admits students in grade 6 only, and then they live there for seven years and pass out after completing class 12 – FSc. The entire student body was present in the auditorium along with their teachers. The auditorium environment was live with excitement, emotions, and above all, palpable energy. I am still wondering if we, the elders, parents, and teachers are doing enough to harness the vast amount of energy. In all honesty, I don’t think we are.
In today’s rapidly evolving world, the energy and enthusiasm of youth are invaluable resources for driving positive change and shaping a better future. The young generation possesses a unique perspective, a passion for innovation, and an unwavering belief in their ability to make a difference. In this post, we shall explore the need for and importance of harnessing the energy of youth, the potential they hold, and how we can empower and support them in their endeavors.
The energy of youth is an incredible force that can bring about significant transformations in society. Young people are filled with fresh ideas, boundless creativity, and a desire to challenge the status quo. They are generally driven by a strong sense of justice and a hunger to address pressing issues such as climate change, social inequality, right to information, and opposition to oppression. We saw a demo of it in the PTI following by youth, disregarding the political differences.
Moreover, youth have a natural inclination towards embracing technology and innovation. They are quick to adapt to new advancements and leverage them for positive change. This ability to navigate the digital landscape allows them to connect globally, collaborate across borders, and amplify their impact.
To harness the energy of youth, it is essential to provide them with the tools, resources, and platforms to express themselves and contribute meaningfully. Here are some keyways to empower and support young change-makers. The purpose is to empower them.
Education and Skill Development – Equipping youth with quality education and relevant skills empowers them to address complex challenges effectively. Offering comprehensive educational programs, mentorship, and vocational training helps nurture their talents and encourages them to pursue their passions. We are still stuck in the rote system of learning and examining only for the sake of obtaining marks. Similarly, we are offering very limited choices of subjects and professions because our job market does not support beyond mainstream options such as medicine and engineering.
Encouraging Entrepreneurship – Fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among youth cultivates innovation and problem-solving abilities. Providing access to entrepreneurship programs, startup incubators, and mentorship opportunities enables them to turn their ideas into impactful ventures. A large number of young people express the desire to ‘do their own thing’ rather than taking up a job and toiling all their lives.
Amplifying Youth Voices – Actively listening to young voices and involving them in decision-making processes empowers them to contribute their unique perspectives. Engaging youth in community initiatives, forums, and policy discussions ensures their ideas are valued and incorporated into the broader narrative. This has started already, but it is still limited and needs to be expanded.
Mentoring and Guidance – Establishing mentorship programs connects young individuals with experienced professionals who can provide guidance, support, and valuable insights. Mentors serve as role models, helping youth navigate challenges, refine their goals, and build networks. This extremely important area is seriously suffering because the teachers are unable to mentor and the institutions do not encourage external mentors.
Collaboration and Networking – Creating platforms and spaces for youth to collaborate and network fosters the exchange of ideas, partnerships, and collective action. Youth-led organizations, conferences, and online communities enable young change-makers to connect, share knowledge, and create synergistic collaborations. The energy of youth is finding outlets and expressions, but it needs to be properly channelized.
Role of Society and Institutions
The so-called generational gap has never been more pronounced than it is now. Communication lines are broken down in households, institutions, politics, and offices. Having said that, society and institutions have a crucial role in harnessing the energy of youth. Governments, educational institutions, and community organizations can implement policies and initiatives that prioritize youth empowerment. This includes allocating resources for youth-led projects, establishing youth councils or advisory boards, and integrating youth perspectives in decision-making processes.
Furthermore, fostering a supportive environment that celebrates and recognizes the achievements of young people is essential. This can be done through awards, grants, and scholarships that acknowledge their efforts and inspire others to follow suit.
Society can also encourage intergenerational dialogue and collaboration, bridging the gap between youth and older generations. By creating spaces for meaningful exchange and understanding, we can combine the wisdom and experience of older generations with the fresh perspectives and innovative ideas of youth.
Harnessing the energy of youth is crucial for driving positive change and shaping a better future. By empowering and supporting young change-makers, we unlock their potential to tackle pressing local challenges and drive innovation. It is the collective responsibility of society, institutions, and individuals to create an enabling environment that nurtures youth, amplifies their voices, provided necessary mentorship, creates spaces for positive interactions, and channelize the huge resource of energy.
Pakistan has over 65% population which is considered young. Unfortunately, we are not doing much at the state level, institutional level, and social level to give them their rightful place which has been usurped by the old people unjustifiably.
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