Youth Civic Engagement Activities Are Critical for Empowering Young People and Bettering Society (PR Newswire)

Children International Youth Take Part in the United Nations’ International Youth Day Campaign to Promote Civic Engagement and Participation of Youth in Politics and Public Life

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Youth civic engagement activities and programs are critical for empowering young people to develop their skills and talents; participate in political, economic and social conversations; and become agents of positive change in their communities. Unfortunately, there are limited opportunities for youth around the world to take part in these civic engagement activities, leaving one of the world’s greatest resources untapped. And, as a result, both youth and society miss out on the potential benefits.

The United Nations’ International Youth Day 2015 campaign aims to promote civic engagement and participation of youth in politics and public life, so that young people can be empowered and contribute to society, development and peace. Leading up to International Youth Day (IYD) on August 12, young people are encouraged to share their stories and ideas on civic engagement activities with the UN and on social media. Children International’s Community Youth Reporters in the Philippines are taking part in this campaign to raise awareness about the importance of youth civic engagement and its benefits to them and their communities. 

Children International’s Community Youth Reporters program empowers youth by giving them a voice while helping them develop journalism skills. The youth learn about news writing, interviewing, photography and videography, making them a group that’s well-suited to capture the importance of civic engagement activities around them and communicate that information to others. For the IYD campaign, they are sharing photos of their peers participating in Children International civic engagement activities, including photos of youth learning about social and financial education, participating in sports programs and receiving leadership training. Each photo is accompanied by a caption that explains the significance of the activity.  

These activities are important because they teach life and leadership skills, which empower youth, help them become self-reliant adults, and encourage them to contribute to society. Social and financial education, for example, teaches young people their rights, responsibilities and how to save, plan and budget their resources. Involving youth in organized sports programs teaches them teamwork, conflict resolution and perseverance.

But these youth programs and activities don’t just benefit the youth who participate in them. The whole community around them is positively impacted as a result. When youth are educated on social and financial education, they can share that information with their peers. When they receive leadership training and learn life skills, they are able to be better leaders in their communities. Many of Children International’s other youth programs are service-focused, too. Children International’s Youth Council members, for example, promote community volunteerism, serve as spokespersons for their peers and plan projects to address problems in their communities.   

In fact, Children International youth around the world are leading and participating in several International Youth Day events in their communities. These events include forums with community leaders on how youth can be involved in civic matters, service projects like youth bringing mobile libraries to communities in need, and educational training sessions on topics like youth leadership.

Children International president Susana Eshleman said, “At CI we believe that youth are agents of transformational positive change in their communities. With our programs, we invest in them so they realize their full potential, can break the cycle of poverty and can be multipliers of opportunity and hope in their communities. There is nothing more inspiring to me than to have the chance to interact with our youth who are visibly excited about what the future holds and deeply committed to help others the way they’ve been helped. This is as good as it gets!”

Learn more about Children International’s Youth Development and Youth Employability programs.     

About Children International
Children International helps kids break free from generational poverty by giving them the support necessary to become self-reliant. Local staff and an 8,000-strong network of passionate, committed community volunteers – working from a network of 80+ community centers in 10 countries – lead a wide range of holistic child and youth development programs. Their goal: Helping kids develop into healthy, educated, empowered and employable adults. 

For more information about Children International, visit

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Brittany Gelbach
Public Relations
Children International
Direct: (816) 943-3832

SOURCE Children International

Freshmen millennials shun 'trapos', are right of center (Business Mirror (Philippines))

THEY are throwing shade on traditional politicians, or trapos, but the majority of freshmen millennials in nine Metro Manila schools are deemed a conservative lot by a survey led by the Far Eastern University (FEU) Inc.

The strong opinions on these statements suggest that the freshmen may be a conservative lot [i.e., they hold opinions that are right of center], FEU President Michael M. Alba said.

Alba referred to the results of a poll of 4,325 freshmen, representing the 27,741 total first year college student population of the following: Adamson University, Baliuag University, Centro Escolar University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, FEU, Jose Rizal University, MapAºa Institute of Technology, National University and the Philippine Women’s University.

In the August 6 presentation of the survey results, Alba said when presented with statements on a range of topics-from climate change and social media to premarital sex and college education, the freshmen strongly agreed with two.

One of these statements relates to hard work as the most important element of success in Philippine society, wherein 66.8 percent (2,889) strongly agreed. Another is the reinstatement of the death penalty: 35.8 percent strongly agreed.

However, Alba didn’t say how the 64.2 percent responded to the statement.

Still, the survey showed many of millennials are concerned with the environment, with the value of adopting green practices appealing to 46.4 percent of the respondents.

Relevance is a key word for millennials, Stuart Jamieson told reporters after the presentation of survey results.

Jamieson, managing director of The Nielsen Co. (Philippines) Inc., explained that millennials warm up to a cause or a brand if they see this as relevant for them.

However, the survey revealed many do not engage in activities like demonstrating for a cause (85 percent), leading some to observe millennials are politically apathetic.

FEU alumna Maria Stephanie Gana said she believes millennials are passionate with a social cause.

We’re just tired of hearing about politicians doing ‘dirty jobs,’ about how they are corrupt. We want to become better than our parents [in politics], Gana said, one of the 2015 Top Outstanding Students of the Philippines.

Gana’s response echoes the poll result of 48 percent saying they do not discuss politics.

We look at the difference of being a politician and being a leader. One just talks about doing it, the other just do it.

Jamieson said millennials fight for a cause via social media.

They create mass using social media they fight online.

But former Asian Institute of Management President Edilberto de Jesus, the challenge remains in translating this reach in social media into electoral votes.

In view of the 2016 elections, there is a recognition of the ability of online connectedness in mobilizing people. Political activists need to consider this [translating connectedness into votes.