Mission Blog: International Youth Day
International Youth Day celebrated on 12 August is dedicated to the young people of the world. It reminds us of the importance of our youth, who will one day inherit a world that we, as their elders, have shaped.
This year’s International Youth Day theme is ‘Intergenerational Solidarity’. It calls for action across all generations to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and to ‘leave no one behind’. The focus for this year is on promoting equitable intergenerational partnerships with our senior citizens to ensure our senior citizens are not forgotten.
Solidarity across all generations is key for sustainable development and consequently, we must leverage the full potential of all generations to safeguard an inclusive and viable recovery of our resources.
As we navigate the third year of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to recognise and address age-related barriers. Many of our youth and senior citizens have been isolated from each to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable citizens. To date, some nursing homes are still not accessible to our young people, and this has meant that both young and old have missed out on valuable enriching life experiences. The aftereffects have meant an underutilisation of the benefits that come from intergenerational experiences and the accompanying loneliness that comes with isolation.
THE RESILIENCE OF YOUTH
This year, International World Youth Day, prompts us to consider the immense gifts of our young people and their incredible commitment to the most vulnerable. Let us also reflect on the resilience of the elderly to keep going in tough times, while celebrating the extraordinary gifts of our youth and contribution they make as community volunteers.
The Santa Maria College Student Ministry team are young people who care for the elderly. Since the beginning of the year, they have written many letters, put together winter care packs, and are currently busily preparing potted succulents for the residents of Carinya Aged Care in Bicton. Some of the residents have already replied to the letters and were overjoyed to receive the winter care packs at a special Christmas in July party. These selfless activities have brought so much joy to the residents who now look forward to the day the students can visit in person.
We applaud our young people not only of what they have achieved, but for their generosity and passion to create a just world, especially for the elderly.
International Youth Day is a day for celebrating the youth and listening to their voice. It is a day to consider their hopes, fears, and aspirations, and to encourage them wholeheartedly to live a life generously in service of others.
Jillian Landers | Director of Mission