Global Youth Service Day - April 20, 2002 WASHINGTON—(April 18, 2007) Millions of young people in countries from Afghanistan to Sudan, from Iran to Tonga, from Mexico to Mongolia, and from more than 100 other countries, are implementing community service projects during the 8th Annual Global Youth Service Day. A public education campaign that highlights the amazing contributions youth make to their communities through year-round volunteering, Global Youth Service Day will engage young people to help with community problems such as school reconstruction, environmental degradation, ethnic and religious conflict, HIV/AIDS, violence, and other critical concerns.
“Young people are changing the world through their energy, idealism, and ingenuity,” said Steven A. Culbertson, President and CEO of Youth Service America. “They possess the desire to help solve some of the world’s most complex problems like global climate change, poverty, education health, and HIV/AIDS.”
“GYSD discredits the myth of youth apathy,” said Founder and Executive Director of the Global Youth Action Network, Benjamin Quinto, “and demonstrates the true potential young people possess to be a positive and critical force for social change in their communities and countries.”
• Young people in Iran will coordinate community beautification campaigns in 57 local villages and will learn about the importance of recycling and environmental problems stemming from pollution. These projects will be organized by the Center for Advancement of Rural Women.
• The Association for Volunteer Services in Lebanon, as well as the UN Youth Association of Sudan, and Sudanese Youths Against Drug Abuse are planning service projects with the aim of fostering a promising sense of community and volunteerism to pave the way for future youth volunteerism endeavors. Projects in these countries include educational forums on community health, nutrition and first aid, environmental preservation campaigns, HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns, and drug abuse prevention campaigns.
• Natal Voluntarios in Brazil expects over 100,000 young people to participate in hundreds of projects around the country, with a common focus on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. As with past years, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will officially commemorate Brazil’s GYSD events, and he has stated that “Global Youth Service Day [is] the most expressive, global celebration of youth volunteerism.”
• Relief International – Schools Online (RI–SOL)has a new initiative planned for Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) that incorporates youth-driven activities in Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Tajikistan, Bangladesh, and the Palestinian Territories. Under the theme “Education for All” and in partnership with high schools in the US, Relief International – Schools Online will facilitate youth projects for GYSD by uniting its partners world-wide. From serving their own school community, to increasing awareness about education in the wider community, to developing access points to education for community members, the theme will support myriad opportunities for service-learning. Some examples include: tutoring a younger group of students, raising money for school improvement projects, creating study opportunities for a high-need population in the community, working towards a literacy program, raising money for libraries, and holding a read-a-thon to raise money for schools, libraries, or other educational institutions within the community or abroad.
• In China, the regional office of TakingITGlobal (TIG) is coordinating activities that will increase youth awareness and activism towards global warming. The TIG China regional office plans to increase effective engagement of students in decision-making on the climate change issue, conduct awareness surveys, distribute educational booklets on college campuses, and collect signatures for a petition calling for actions to prevent the impact of climate change. It hopes to use these activities as a starting point for continued advocacy and increased awareness in the region.
Organized annually by Youth Service America with support from the Global Youth Action Network, a consortium of international organizations, and more than 100 National Coordinating Committees, Global Youth Service Day has grown from 27 participating countries since its inception in 2000 to more than 100 countries in 2007. The event is carried out through the work of National Lead Agencies around the world that encourage participation in their local areas. In the eight years since its creation, more than 40 organizations, including, the Inter-American Development Bank, U.S. Department of State’s Youth Programs Division, Peace Child International, Special Olympics, United Nations agencies, International Association for Volunteer Effort, and others. Global Youth Service Day receives primary funding from The Walt Disney Company. If you need assistance planning a Global Youth Service Day project of your own, you can find tool-kits, logos, posters and additional information at http://www.gysd.org.
Youth Service America is an international nonprofit resource center that partners with thousands of organizations committed to increasing the quality and quantity of volunteer opportunities for young people, ages 5-25, to serve locally, nationally, and globally. Founded in 1986, Youth Service America’s mission is to expand the impact of the youth service movement with communities, schools, corporations, and governments. Youth Service America envisions a global culture of engaged youth who are committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership and achievement. For more information: www.YSA.org.
The Global Youth Action Network (GYAN) is one of the most expansive youth networks in the world today, linking diverse movements and thousands of organizations in over 180 countries and territories. GYAN works to facilitate youth participation and intergenerational partnership in global decision-making; to support collaboration and incubate global partnerships; and to provide tools, resources, and recognition for positive youth action that improves our world. For more information, please go to: www.youthlink.org