Although you wouldn’t know it from the websites of the Prime Minister or the Department for Education and Skills, today is International Youth Day. The reason I highlight that those two websites don’t even mention it (I’ve searched), let alone put them on their home pages is that this day was instituted by UN World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in 1998. It’s a shame that it’s been forgotten about already.
Anyway, the point of these days (if you ever hear about them) is to spur you into action. So what are you doing to help young people today? The 2009 theme is ‘sustainability’:
Sustainability does not only refer to maintaining environmental balance and renewal.Sustainability encapsulates three facets of life: the environment, society and the economy. We live our lives in the overlaps and intersections of these facets, and our actions and attitudes help shape them. Their changing shapes in turn affect the way we are able to live our lives. The negative effects of unsustainable behaviour are not easily contained. As has been proven by the global crises in food, the economy and the environment, the concept of the global village has gone beyond being a useful analogy to being a hard reality, making clear the need toadopt a global sense of social responsibility.
This chimes in very nicely with what we’re trying to do with involver. We’re interested in sustainable participation, and using participation to improve sustainability. We’ve all seen apparently amazing school councils crumble when a great student or teacher who knew how it all worked and was helping steer it left. We want to ensure that schools put structures in place to ensure that things don’t rely on one person, but are established in such a way that everyone shares the load, benefits and the ability to run it.
One small thing you can do to help young people is just tell us your ideas about what support you think involver should be offering to schools, LAs and young people to help them enjoy getting involved. Post a comment below.