Female students from the University of Laos during a Library Week event on campus.
It’s not great to be young, said Chris Colfer, a 23-year-old American actor, singer, and author to Esquire magazine for their The Life of Man project.
It’s hard to disagree with Colfer. Youth are usually considered reckless, restless, and aimless. But in recent years things have changed. The change seemed more apparent last Sunday at the Social Good Summit, an annual event that celebrates technology and social action.
The World Region
It seems that the mindset of my friends roughly reflects the views of youth worldwide. From Nepal to the United States, young people are increasingly mindful of how their behavior impacts the planet.
For Somali girl Halima Mohmoud, 11, a dream came true recently. She is now enrolled in school despite the hardships she and her family go through every day.
The World Bank is the largest international funder of education.
Education is one of the most important tools young people need to get good jobs. That’s why the Bank works with national governments, United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, and other partners in developing countries to ensure everyone has access to education.
- Biodiversity Conservation
- Children & Youth
- end poverty
- Information and Communication Technologies
- Global Economy
- Climate Change
- The World Region
- South Asia
- Middle East and North Africa
- Latin America & Caribbean
- Europe and Central Asia
- East Asia and Pacific
- international development
Today, the world has the largest youth population in history. There are more than 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24, and 90% of them live in developing countries.
Find out where the world's youth lived in 2012.
Photo: Arne Hoel / The World Bank
“How can we mitigate the risks that youth migration brings while enhancing its development potential?”
Young woman working on a computer. Tunis, Tunisia. Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank
“Girls programming isn’t just a cool thing; it’s also doubling the chances of developing innovative tools and making the world a better place for everyone.” These words are from my friend Julie, who has been working as a web developer for the last four years. She has also been involved in a few volunteer programs in Africa, mainly to train young women on IT tools.
Youth unemployment has grown in prominence on national and global development agendas. In 2007, nearly 70 million young people were out of work. This figure climbed to 72.6 million by 2011. In 2012, young people made up more than 40% of the world’s total unemployed population.
Kelvin Doe found that batteries were too expensive for a project he was working on in 2009. He used acid, soda, and metal parts that he found in trash bins in his neighborhood to build his own battery. Doe, then a 13-year-old from Sierra Leone, constructed a generator to light his home and operate an FM radio station that he built. He now employs his friends at the radio station.
"Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons,” said Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head on her way back from school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley last October.
“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first,” she continued from the podium at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on July 12, her 16th birthday. July 12 — “Malala Day” — will now be marked and celebrated by citizens worldwide, a day where people can advocate for education and girls’ empowerment.
If you missed Malala’s speech at the UN, you can watch the full video below.