Why Do We Need to Invest in the Young People?

“If we are to have real peace, we must begin with the children.”–Mahatma Gandhi

“This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.” – Robert Kennedy 

The young people are considered the key to future generations. Likewise, they are the healthiest age group. They are the future leaders and movers of the society.

According to World Health Organization, adolescents are those who are aged between 10-20 years old, while the youth refers to those who are aged between 15-24 years old. The “young people” are those who belong to both age groups, those who are aged 10-24 years old.

There are over 1.8 billion people aged 10-24 years old, which makes one quarter of the world’s population, 90% of these young people live in developing countries.

The various global issues the young people face today include poverty, lack of education, teenage pregnancy, child marriage, female genital mutilation, unemployment, violence and death. (www.unfpa.org)

image courtesy of :http://en.hdyo.org/

image courtesy of :http://en.hdyo.org/

In education, globally, there are about 69 million adolescents aged 10-13 years old who remain out of school. In some countries, one-third of primary school entrants do not finish primary school.

In 2013, data also shows that there are some 74.5 million people globally, aged 15-24 years of age who are unemployed, which is 3 times more likely than adults.

Another key issue that the young face today concerns adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Statistics show that around 15million aged 15-19 years old girls globally give birth every year.

During World Population Day, which is celebrated every 11th day of July, World Population Day 2014 focuses on investing to young people, as well as on empowering them. Key messages and call to actions include their ability to make smart decisions, have a voice on issues, access to college education and reproductive health services, employment opportunity, be part of decisions and be counted in the country’s development agenda.

These are key messages that every nation should invest in to uplift the health and wellness of our “young people”.