Tag Archives: Youth empowerment

Philippines: Youth active in disaster preparedness

After Typhoon Washi hit the Philippines in 2011, many communities began participating in World Vision's child-focused disaster risk reduction training.

Now, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, widely reported to be the strongest tropical cyclone in history, our prayers go out to the people of the Philippines, hoping that advance training and emergency plans will help mitigate the destruction left by this storm.

Aaron Aspi, communicator for World Vision in the Philippines, describes last summer's disaster risk-reduction training.

Yemi’s story: empowering youth toward change

Penn State sophomore and World Vision Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) alumna Yemi Olugbuyi is motivating other students to create positive change in their lives and communities.

During the past school semester, Yemi started a YEP chapter on the Penn State campus in Schuylkill, Pennsylvania. YEP focuses on helping youth develop skills in leadership, civic engagement, critical thinking, advocacy, and team building.

A legacy of change

Ten years ago, families in impoverished communities in southern Peru like Cusipata were focused exclusively on agriculture and ways to earn money to survive. In their struggles against poverty, parents were distanced from their children, who became last in receiving attention and love.

But thanks to World Vision’s work, this community has changed, and now parents put their hope in their children for sustainable development.

You're gonna graduate in whatever you do

World Vision Photographer Abby Stalsbroten learned what it takes to change a life at the Children's Defense Fund Conference last week.  At the conference she met Anthony, a participant in World Vision's Youth Empowerment Program.  As a teenager, Anthony was headed down a destructive path. His father was in prison, and he joined a gang in middle school.  Now at 23, Anthony is an inspirational speaker, and an example to young men in his community. Read on to learn what altered Anthony's path.

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International Youth Day: 6 youth changing our world

Change our world -- that's this year's International Youth Day theme. It seems more than appropriate in a year of ongoing economic struggle, debt ceilings, radiation leaks and famines. And there are issues of injustice that fail to make headlines but distress so many people -- child abuse, abduction and trafficking, school drop-outs because of forced labor or need for income, neglect of children and youth, and an apparent lack of youth voice.

But there are youth out there advocating against such injustices, making real differences in their communities, and changing our world for good. This post is a reminder, on International Youth Day, that youth are to believed in because through them, great things are possible.

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. -1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

The sound that changes everything [video]

“I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” The words from this 80s pop song by Whitney Houston have been looping through my mind for the past five days. I’ve spent the past week looking through the viewfinder of my camera and seeing the faces of teenagers staring back at me -- their eyes shining with hope and their mouths speaking words that will ignite change in their communities.

World Vision's Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) concluded their fifth annual summit last Friday in Washington, D.C. As the summit's videographer, I witnessed teens from all over the country speak of their diverse struggles, unique cultural challenges, and the problems they face in bringing transformation to their neighborhoods. Over and over, as I shot their stories and experiences, I saw youth voices come together with a message so great that everyone is compelled to listen.

What makes an advocate?

What does it mean to be an advocate?

Dictionary.com defines advocate as "a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc." For me, that definition feels impersonal. The 120 young people in Washington, D.C., this week for World Vision’s Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) summit bring personalization and breathe life into advocacy.

Friday was Capitol Hill day for the fifth annual YEP Summit. Teenagers came from urban centers or rural hamlets across the United States. Many live in poverty or in areas plagued by violence and drug or alcohol abuse. Despite their troubles, they refuse to give up. They refuse to be beaten down. They stand up for their communities. They advocate.

Your role in changing our world

Imagine for a moment that you woke up tomorrow and discovered you were on a different planet in a different part of the universe without any idea of how you got there. Imagine what you would feel and the questions that would rush into your mind.

Well, I have news for you – that exact thing has happened to every one of us. Sometime in the past 100 years, we were all born on the third planet from the sun in a solar system within the Milky Way galaxy, in a universe that is incomprehensibly vast. We had no idea how we got here, all we know is that we were born into the middle of a story that started long before we arrived and will continue long after we are gone.

It’s our own mystery story -- one that began millions of years ago and one that will continue into the future.

Celebrating 20 years with 30 Hour Famine

The 30 Hour Famine began in the 1970s when World Vision New Zealand and World Vision Australia sought ways to engage youth on global issues. World Vision U.S. adopted the Famine in 1992 through partnerships with churches, youth groups, and students who desired to fight global hunger. Some 20 years later....

Are you an ‘ageist’?

Any of us would be horrified to be accused of being a racist — someone who has a hatred or intolerance of another race. But I actually think that many of us are ‘closet ageists’ — people who discriminate against persons of a certain age group — especially when it comes to children and youth.

Most often, the term ‘ageist’....

A better tomorrow for today's children

This time of year always prompts me to reflect on our work with youth and community development. I'm reminded of two lines from the famous "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., back in 1963. Every year, I read or listen to that speech; and each time, those words come alive in my heart. At some point in my life, they became my...