Bringing young people together for a better future

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Empowering young people around the World to make a better tomorrow through mutual understanding...

...Because there is more that binds us together than sets us apart.

Millions of young people have been displaced by conflict around the World or live in challenging circumstances.

Over the past two years I have visited Gaza, the West Bank and  Jordan, currently home to 2m registered refugees and countless more who are unregistered and was struck by the resilience of people under such extreme conditions, particularly young people.

I have travelled to Africa, Asia and South America and met people in many different situations. Their stories are all different, the issues they face rarely the same. But the world over young people have the same hope for themselves and the future: to make a better world. 

And it has never been easier for them to communicate with each other across borders, to build bridges and break down barriers.

During ten days in the Middle East in January 2016, travelling with a coordination of Catholic and Anglican bishops from around the world, I met young people who have lost their homes, their families, their education but rarely their hope.

While the conflicts in the Middle East may seem increasingly insurmountable to a generation which has grown up with them in the background - the occupation of Palestine will be 50 years old in 2017 and Iraq has been in a state of turmoil for over twenty five years - for those growing up now with the same conflicts there is a strengthening conviction that something has to change; the old quarrels and stalemates are exactly that - stale.

What I did come away with was an overwhelming sense that the young people I met still had hope for the future and a determination that the situations which have led them to their current circumstances - refugees or victims of war, homelessness or poverty - they are not prepared to allow to continue if they have anything to do with it. But they are often unsure how they can have anything to do with it.

They also don’t understand that the rest of the world does care about their situation. 

how are we going to make a difference?

By fostering better communication and understanding between young people in different cultures and different parts of the world we can empower a generation of ambassadors who already see peace as the obvious way forward to make it a reality, rather than accept the inevitability of conflict as our generation does. One of the best ways for them to build that understanding is by directly comparing their lives with someone of the same age - a seventeen year old in Northampton or Seville or Idaho will better understand global issues if they can directly compare their life with that of a seventeen year old in Gaza or Sudan or Columbia.

We want to:

  • bring young people around the world together via blogging and social media to help them explore the similarities that bind them together as well as sharing the issues they each face in growing up
  • facilitate a dialogue about how to build and share a better world than the one we have created for them 
  • build lasting partnerships between individuals, schools and youth organisations across borders

We can do this by:

  • delivering assemblies and workshops to UK schools to help them understand the lives of their contemporaries in other countries and the issues they face
  • providing further resources to schools to facilitate curriculum days to help them explore global issues through the eyes of other young people
  • working with schools and youth organisations overseas to help develop their young people's stories 
  • developing an international ambassador programme to enable young people to travel across borders to experience first hand the lives of their contemporaries in other countries and cultures 

It's an ambitious plan but if you've read this far, chances are you believe in what we're trying to do and with enough help from people like you we can make it happen.


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