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Youth

How Are African Youth Doing? Interactive Map Helps Visualize Progress and Challenges

Ravi Kumar's picture

Available in Français

What can be done to help African youth improve their prospects for a brighter future?

The first step might be to understand the challenges they face.

Recently, Microsoft Chairman and philanthropist Bill Gates wrote a terrific piece in the Wall Street Journal on why we need to measure the world’s problems to solve them. “You can achieve incredible progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal…,” said Gates.

That’s true.

From Afghanistan to World Bank, Youth Orchestra Brings a Beautiful Harmony

Ravi Kumar's picture

Available in Español, Français

Afghanistan National Institute of Music Concert

Students from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) play in the Wolfensohn Atrium.

There are days when your faith in humanity is not only restored but strengthened. Today was one of those days.

On a sunny afternoon in Washington, D.C., young students from Afghanistan showed off their musical talent in an orchestral performance at the World Bank.

I was inspired and excited to see the group of musicians, aged 9 to 21, who had travelled so far from a war-torn country to perform. As someone who grew up during a decade-long civil war in Nepal, I can in some ways relate to their hard work, persistence, and determination to excel despite all odds.

An Inspiring Story of a Young South Asian Artist

Ravi Kumar's picture

Available in Français, Español

Can art change your vision for the future?

During the third week of January on a chilly Tuesday evening in Washington, D.C., young artists from the South Asia region gathered in the Wolfensohn Atrium of the World Bank for an exhibition of Imagining Our Future Together, a group exhibition organized by the World Bank to feature works from 25 young South Asian artists. Their art reflects their hope to make South Asia a more united region.

Being Average is Your Superpower

Sandra Moscoso's picture

Last week, on my way home from work, I met a young man raising funds for a charity. He stood outside of a subway station and as part of his pitch, he asked, "if you could have any superpower, what would it be?" I offered the same answer I have been giving my children for years. "I have a superpower. It's reading." I suspect this both annoys and inspires my children. Given that annoying and inspiring are among my favorite parental duties, I rather like this answer.
Since then, a few things have happened that are making me want to revise my response to that young man.

Sierra Leone’s Cold Spot? Young People, Elections and Accountability in Kono

Jessica Sinclair Taylor's picture

Ibrahim Fanday, Chairman of Kono Youth Commission smiled proudly as he says ‘Kono is known as a trouble hot-spot – but at the end of the day, the elections were peaceful.’ Martha Lewis, a member of the local women’s network, agreed, saying ‘Hot spot? Cold spot!’ 

When Sierra Leone went to the polls in November last year, it followed months of speculation and fears that the hotly contested elections would be a flash-point for violence.  And Kono, the state which saw the worst of the ten year civil war, and remains notorious chiefly for its diamond miles and its instability, was predicted to be at the centre of any trouble.

The elections passed without major disturbances and were pronounced free and fair by the EU observers following them.  Ibrahim believes that the youth of Kono played a role in keeping the polling peaceful, by acting as ‘peace ambassadors’ in their communities.  His pride is echoed by everyone I speak to - Sierra Leone seems to have passed some kind of test, in both national and international eyes, by holding an election where 87.3% of the population turned out to vote, and the peace held.

Social Media and Social Change: How Young People are Tapping into Technology

Ravi Kumar's picture

Today, 43% of the world’s population is 25 years old or younger. This young group is impatient and ready to change the world. Change for this generation “has everything to do with people and very little to do with political ideology,” according to a new global survey, Millennials: The Challenger Generation, by Havas Worldwide, a future-focused global ideas agency.  Some 70% of young people believe that social media is a force for change, says the survey.

These five examples from around the world show how youth used technology, social media and the Internet to make a difference recently.

HappyLife and Social Games: Solidarity goes viral!

Liviane Urquiza's picture


Stéphane Buthaud - HappyLifeLast week, I was fortunate enough to have a discussion with Stéphane Buthaud, the founder of HumanoGames, which is a video game company whose mission is to “change lives.” Mission accomplished.

Thanks to the game HappyLife, launched just one year ago, Facebook users can provide financial backing for the projects of small entrepreneurs all over the world.

This is how it works:  Each player creates his or her own micro-business in the virtual world of HappyLife and re-invests the profits to help an entrepreneur get started in business in real life.

“A Project for Solidarity on a Global Scale”

Nothing in Stéphane’s background pre-ordained him to become a creator of games for the Web.  After engineering studies and a Masters degree in International Business, he gained solid experience working for a number of NGOs on micro-finance projects; first in Bosnia, then Rwanda, China, Argentina, etc.  Until the day he decided to found his own social enterprise.

What made him decide to create a game on Facebook? “It was the best possible way to foster solidarity and rally a community without borders around a common objective.  I wanted to develop a solidarity project with a global reach, to help people who come up with projects, but who lack the means to get started,” Stéphane explains.  

Really? A game on Facebook that could help in the fight against poverty…?

South Asia Region Imagining a More United Society

Ravi Kumar's picture

To help bridge cultural divides in South Asia, the World Bank recently sponsored an art contest in the region -- Imagining our Future Together. The contest attracted more than 1,000 pieces of art from more than 231 artists born after 1974. Twenty-five winning artworks have been displayed in New Delhi, India, and in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and will next be on display at World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., in January.

Creating more and better jobs in Kenya

Wolfgang Fengler's picture

Jobs are central to our lives: after all, we spend most of our time at work, trying to make a living. And it’s not just about what we earn. As the 2013 World Development Report argues, our work fundamentally defines who we are as people with important implications for our social relations and psychological well-being.

Each year, there are one million new Kenyans. Unlike in the past, this rapid population growth is driven by people living longer instead of having more children. This means that an increasing share of the population is of working age. What does it mean for Kenya’s economy and social stability? How can these young adults find a job—ideally a good job—and what needs to be done to help them succeed?


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