Global Youth Service Day - April 21, 2006 WASHINGTONâ??(April 20, 2006)â?? Despite war, poverty, and civil unrest millions of young people in countries like Iraq, Palestine, Liberia, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia and 111 other countries are implementing community service projects during the 7th 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.
â??Young people are powerful change makers around the world,â?? said Steven A. Culbertson, President and CEO of Youth Service America. â??They possess the energy and ingenuity to help tackle the worldâ??s most complex problems, which make them assets and resources for our communities.â??
â?¢ On Friday, April 21st, the Iraqi Democratic Coalition for Youth will host a service event in Baghdad involving 100 youth, ages six through 14. The event will focus on improving the physical conditions of three schools in the Iraqi capitol of Baghdad. The project positions young people to improve local conditions and gives hope to the youth of Iraq. Other young people around the world will realize that the young Iraqis have capabilities and creative powers that may allow them to achieve miracles despite their complex situation. For adults in the war-torn country, the project represents a new step towards a free and democratic country.
â?¢ Youth Development and Voluntary Work Association in Palestine is organizing its first annual international summer camp for young people ages 18 and up. This camp will be conducted by three Palestinian youth organizations including: Youth Development and Voluntary Work Association in Bethlehem, Youth Development Association in Ramallah, and Youth Innovation in Qalqilia. The camp will take place in three areas Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Qalqilia. At the camp, participants will have the opportunity to get involved with educational and political workshops, Dabke (a cultural dance) & other cultural experiences, sports and art competitions, youth challenges, work days, spoken word, and art and cultural exhibits.
â?¢ In Nigeria, People to People International Lagos will organize a Walk for Peace Rally with 100,000 people attendance. There will be over 20 partnering organizations supporting the event. The walk aims to mobilize young people to meet and discuss the need for peaceful co-existence. They will also raise awareness and support for positive youth development. Prominent guests attending include government delegates and ministers.
â?¢ The Muslim Public Affairs Council of Gardena, CA will bring together 100 Muslims, Jews, and Christians to work together at a Habitat for Humanity build site. The project is designed to expose young people of different religious faiths to one another and to show them how the themes of social justice run throughout each religion. 100 volunteers, April 23.
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 115 countries in 2006. The event is carried out through the work of National Lead Agencies around the world that encourage participation in their local areas. In the seven years since its creation, a number of organizations have joined the program, including, the Inter-American Development Bank, U.S. Department of Stateâ??s Youth Programs Division, Habitat for Humanity International, Special Olympics, International Youth Foundation, United Nations, and others. Global Youth Service Day receives primary funding from the GM Foundation.
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 Americaâ??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.