Global Youth Service Day - April 1, 2005 WASHINGTONâ??(April xx, 2005)â?? Organizations in more than 100 countries have signed up to lead local efforts for Global Youth Service Day 2005 (April 15-17), ensuring that simultaneous, youth-driven community service projects will take place internationally throughout this weekend-long event.
Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is a public education campaign that highlights the amazing contributions youth make to their communities through volunteering year-round. By encouraging young people to design and lead service projects that tackle a broad range of immediate, local issuesâ??from HIV/AIDS to overcrowded orphanages to contaminated drinking wellsâ??the event allows youth to play an active leadership role in solving problems they see around them.
Projects are currently taking place in Albania, Angola, Armenia, Argentina, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Chad, El Salvador, Egypt, Colombia, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Georgia, Italy, Iran, India, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Taiwanâ??and many more countries.
Some examples of projects underway for 2005 include:
â?¢ Indonesia: Child Fund, an organization working with Indonesian tsunami victims, is planning 3-day Youth Empowerment and Leadership workshop for children who were displaced by the tsunami, affected by the conflict here in the region, and/or hard hit by the earthquake.
â?¢ India: 23 NGOs will lead projects involving more than 700 villages throughout the country. The varied topics include: a pulse polio awareness campaign and a campaign to keep drinking water clean and store it safely; an awareness campaign on women rights and violence against women, etc.
â?¢ Lebanon: The Beirut Association for Social Development will bring deaf youth to the St. Jude Hospital at the American University of Beirut Children Cancer Centre. The children will perform a pantomime to put smiles on the faces of young cancer patients at the hospital.
â??The buzz around this yearâ??s Global Youth Service Day is bigger than ever before,â?? said Steve Culbertson, president and CEO of Youth Service America. â??In all types of countriesâ??some plagued by war, some hostage to hostile governments, some hit by epidemic and diseaseâ??young people are stepping up, taking it upon themselves to improve the situation. Global Youth Service Day is one way of recognizing the critical role these young people play.â??
Organized annually by Youth Service America with the Global Youth Action Network, and 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 over 125 countries in 2004. Last year, for example, Russia engaged more than 340,000 youth throughout the country, up from 136,000 the previous year. In Afghanistan, three school groups built a library, held leadership camps, volunteer forums, and a drawing contest about children's hopes for the future.
Global Youth Service Day is carried out through the work of National Lead Agencies around the world that encourage participation in their local areas. To search for an organization leading projects in your area, go to http://www.gysd.org/who. In the six years since its creation, a number of organizations have joined Youth Service America and the Global Youth Action Network to expand the program, including, the Inter-American Development Bank, Youth Employment Summit, IEARN, Service for Peace and others. In the United States, National Youth Service Day, also a program of Youth Service America, is part of Global Youth Service Day.
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 a national nonprofit resource center that partners with thousands of other organizations committed to growing the youth service movement. Youth Service Americaâ??s programs and services increase the effectiveness, sustainability, and scale of the youth service and service-learning fields on a local, national, and global level. In addition to National Youth Service Day and Global Youth Service Day, happening April 15-17, 2005, YSA also hosts SERVEnet (www.SERVEnet.org), providing the largest database of volunteer opportunities in America. For more information, please visit www.YSA.org.
The Global Youth Action Network is a not-for-profit organization that acts as an incubator of global partnerships among youth organizations. Their mission is to facilitate youth participation and intergenerational partnership in global decision-making; to support collaboration among diverse youth organizations; and to provide tools, resources, and recognition for positive youth action. For more information, please go to: www.youthlink.org.