Non-governmental organizations usually take the lead provide youth development leadership. They seek to empower youth as they face the different issues in their lives and in the society. The world around us is changing in exponential ways. The issues that young people face nowadays are different from what they the youth of the 1970s or 1980s faced. Technology, communication and other issues have taken center stage. The youth are sometimes at a loss how to respond and deal with all these changes raging all throughout the world.
Leadership is needed in this area of social development. The youth holds the future of any society. They will soon serve as leaders in various capacities and in different sectors. Some of them will go to government. A lot of them will become business leaders. Still, a significant number will remain as followers, ordinary workers. There are also those who will succumb to various temptations and will not be able to rise up from whatever humble beginnings they have.
How then do you empower youth for development and leadership?
Believe in them. Most of the time, young people need to feel valued. They are special and somebody needs to let them know that they have the power and the capacity to change their lives and the world. Without such belief and affirmation, they may readily succumb to the challenges they see around them-drug and alcohol abuse, risky lifestyle, and other destructive behavior. When they do, they are not only destroying their lives but they are destroying the future of the society.
Empower them through education and learning. A college degree is not a good measure of education. Some people may not have finished college but they went on to become great. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs come to mind. They showed the world that you may not need a college degree if you want to get rich and make a significant contribution to the society. Youth need opportunities for learning. Sometimes, on-the-job training opportunities are even more important than classroom instruction.
Provide resources for them. A lot of entrepreneurs rise from the ranks of youth. They develop a good idea then pursue it until they establish a business. Oftentimes, however, they don’t have the money and the resources to make the most out of their lives. By investing in them, youth development practitioners are making it possible for them to achieve their dreams!
Leadership for youth is necessary for a better society. Let us not let the young people waste their potentials.