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Youth development, as defined by young people
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Youth development, as defined by young people

The Youth Development Index, a new global measure of the development and empowerment of young people, was launched by The Commonwealth on 19 September. We asked contributors to YourCommonwealth.org to define youth development. Here are some of their answers:

“Youth development is when there is equal opportunities for all youths to gain access to basic resources that can help them progress in life such as employment, education, health care, housing and food.” – Latoyaa Neikaa Roberts, 25, from Trinidad and Tobago

“Youth development is a higher consciousness of the mind, a firm grasp on the proclivities of life, a love for the challenges of cliffs and mountains, self-actualization in all its glory.” – Bernard Lim, 19, from Singapore

“Youth development is providing young people with the agency to make decisions about their lives and to have access to resources, opportunities and training that will position them to successfully engage with systems and institutions that help them to realise their dreams and goals, while meeting their needs and living meaningful lives. It is the understanding that youth aren’t just the future, they are now.” – Keresa Arnold, from Jamaica

“Youth development is vigorously providing young people with the resources that enable them to make the most purposeful and noble use of their selves.” Nnadozie Onyekuru, 24, from Nigeria

 “To me, youth development is when as a young person, you can believe in a future. A real future.” – Eva Maria, 23, from New Zealand

“Youth is the backbone of every nation’s development agenda. Youth development includes developing one’s innate talent skill and knowledge and preparing them to face a dynamic and uncertain environment. 
A holistic wholesome and integrated approach should be adopted to discover every young and talented personality. A complete medicare system should be devised, so that a young and healthy generation can be nurtured.” – Achuth Menon, 20, from India

“Youth development is a process through which youth are empowered to voice their opinions and concerns to participate in their development pathway. It is a process through which youth are empowered to realise their potential, through enabled conditions and opportunities.” – Mehzabin Ahmed, 30, Bangladesh

“Youth development is when every youth has the hope of a future not dictated by circumstance but of their own choosing. Youth development is when youth feel hope about their lives, communities, countries, and what they can be/do.” – Ruth Howard, from Jamaica

“Youth development sees all areas of society working with young people to ensure they meet their developmental needs, build their capacities and provide the resources needed for their success which is inevitably the future’s success. The youth are the future!” – Jerome Cowans, Jamaica

How would you define youth development? Send your definitions for posting on this page to will@yourcommonwealth.org. Please include your full name, nationality and age.

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