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Youth around the world

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Young people making change happen

Canada

Young voters are being urged to engage in civic elections by a national youth group trying to get youths to the ballot box, reported CBC news.
A new campaign is aiming to change the apathetic attitude of youth – before election day on October 25.
Brenden Johnstone of the Canadian Youth Assembly says the “Don’t be Boring” initiative aims to engage young voters in the issues.
“Democracy can’t be sexy until we’re involved in it,” he said. “Decisions that are made at council are going to affect us now, they’re going to affect us in five years and in 25 years.”

Europe

Spain & Greece: Widespread social unrest in these Mediterranean states is soon expected to come to a head with public protests, largely fuelled by youth.
“[Youth] might be more inclined to protest this time due to the unemployment they face,” said Carlos Berrera, a political communication expert at University of Navarre in Spain, in an interview with Reuters.
“Young people are in rage, and this is combined with a complete absence of optimism,” said Costas Panagopoulos, who works for the Greek survey firm Alco Pollsters. “For the time being, they are extremely pessimistic, looking for a way out.”

Asia

LAOS: India is viewed as an ideal destination for higher education and learning language skills by the young people in Laos, according to the Economic Times.
Many of the country’s students are learning English in lieu of the national language, French, to capitalise on globalisation, and India is a more popular destination than China and Australia due to more scholarships for higher studies.
Khamdy Bounchaleun, a journalist with the official Lao television, went to New Delhi to learn English.
“I liked India so much I wanted to stay there much longer,” he said.

U.S.A

Virginia: Ashoka, a leading group of social entrepreneurs, and Staples Inc announced the winners of their Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition. They were:

  • Rebecca Kantar, who co-founded Minga, a global youth-run civic organisation that work to stop sex trafficking by educating teens.
  • Mohammed Berry, of the republic of Gambia, who contracted HIV at age 7, fought on to create Aid for Smiles, a group of social activists who empower vulnerable young people.
  • Ben Lyon created FronLineSMS: Credit, which is pioneering technology that is connecting microfinance institutions to their borrowers via cell phones in Sierra Leone, to help people financially recover from natural disasters.
  • Shiv Dravid is this week's Lift global youth of the week (see at the bottom). This year's deadline is September 30, 2010 For more info visit www.genv.net/en-us/staples-yse.

Africa

kenya: President Mwai Kibaki has urged youth to embrace the new constitution with courage and take advantage of existing opportunities to help propel Kenya to the next level of socio-economic and political transformation.
“This constitution is about present and future opportunities. Embrace it with courage and with an open mind,” the president advised young people.
President Kibaki was speaking at State House in Nairobi where he presented gold community service awards to 602 young Kenyans who had been participating in service programmes for the past 18 months. Kibaki commended the youth for being agents of reform and change in their country.

Australia & New Zealand

AUSTRALIA’S university system is likely to become more decentralised during the next 50 years because of burgeoning population pressures, according to experts.
Demographer Graeme Hugo predicted an extra five million people would live in regional areas by 2050.
“If we are going to see regional development in Australia on a more substantial scale, it’s necessary for universities to be an important part of that,” he told The Australian.
A lack of universities has led youth away from these areas, and Hugo said more courses such as arts and science need to be offered through rural satellite campuses.

Shiv Dravid founded The Viewspaper, a youth journalism website (theviewspaper.net) in India seen by more than 150,000 readers a month, with daily articles written by youth staff writers. Shiv has plans to branch out to 50 sites within the next year.

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