Why Youth Voice Matters

“I care about this right now. Why should I wait to do something?”

“I can’t ignore the challenges my family faces anymore.”

“This affects our entire community and our entire community needs to take action.”

~Freechild.org

These are the opinions of young people, who speak with passion and insight from their age. As the world becomes increasingly technological and commercially interconnected, encouraging young people to define who they are is more important than ever. Also, where they come from, what they stand for, and what they oppose. In today’s environment, young people collaborate with adults to bring about constructive, effective, and long-lasting change.

Role of Our Voice

Everyone can express themselves by using their voice. However, some are criticized or refrained whenever they try to speak up. Indeed, some of the most influential voices are those we refuse to acknowledge or those that cannot be physically heard.

But why is it essential that we have the rights and opportunities to be heard, not only for adults but also for young people?

According to Wafiya, we can travel into the future using our voices. To the future that has many possibilities. Standing up for what is right can be accomplished with the help of one’s voice. We express our thoughts and gain insight into the essential issues by having a voice. It is a powerful symbol of freedom and democracy in a society that needs it. There are several ways people have used it to express their views. In a difficult situation, a voice can provide a glimpse of hope.

It’s essential to speak up and make a difference if you want to see a better world. Each one of us has a voice, and it matters. It is impossible to have a democratic society if no one speaks up. An emotion, a place, or a concept can be conveyed through a voice. Voices may be a powerful tool if used correctly. Voices can have an impact. One of the few things you have is your voice, which can never be taken away from you. Voices are meant to connect and support one another. Using this will be a powerful action.

It is common for people to think that if young people have rights, they will always receive what they want, but this is not the case because rights come with responsibility. As their social circle expands, they must learn to negotiate their relationships with groups of peers and adults. Youth can benefit from learning this in their childhood to become successful adults without even being aware of it. In this kind of learning, the goal is not to romanticize society and think they all get what they want. Instead, it’s to learn how actions positively and negatively affect other people.

Youth Voice in the Philippines

In Mr. Garcia’s article, he shares the importance of the opinion of young people. In an event, they conducted a focus group discussion a few months before the past election started. They asked the youth about their thoughts and expectations for the country.

Their responses are clustered into four categories: education, environment, employment, and engagement.

Education

They acknowledge government assistance but point out the lack of access to a decent education. They also emphasized the threat to peace and security and the low morale among teachers due to low wages and poor learning environments. While the cost of tuition is waived. The students from remote rural areas prefer to stay at home because they still need to find the money for transportation and food, resulting in their dropping out of school. So, they recommend that the government partner with schools to create programs to earn money while studying.

Environment

Participants’ opinion is centered on encouraging tree planting and coastal cleanups. Still, they also point out the challenges of tracking and sustaining these efforts as they grow. Local governments have ignored environmental regulations in favor of so-called “economic” concerns that haven’t helped either. Hence, the youth propose the creation of an inventory of surroundings issues and measures to address them in specific areas. Furthermore, they advocate that environmental education should be organized at the village or barangay level to reach people’s homes in rural areas.

Employment

Despite their talent and resourcefulness, there is a lack of support for young Filipinos who want to start their own businesses. They recommend easier access to microloans and other forms of credit for young people so that they can establish their own enterprises and, in return, create jobs. It was also suggested that regional career advice mechanisms be developed to promote more relevant courses to local requirements, rather than focusing on high-paying professions in big cities and overseas.

Engagement

There’s a lot of mistrust in government agencies that work with young people. They think that the government or political groups usually choose the people who run these agencies. They can be influenced, abused, and corrupted by the people who work for them. A more objective group with less government involvement hoped to get better representation in government jobs.

Their responses provided a more realistic picture of how they see the country’s progress. They brought up issues that weren’t new. When they came up with practical solutions, they considered regional differences and social stories that resonate with us.

The voices of young people are essential in advocacy. The world’s youth population is huge. As a result, many young people initiate and change the narrative of how things used to be in their society to how they should truly be. 

Now that you have an idea let’s do it one step at a time and make everyone aim for change because we believe the future is ours, and we must improve it for the next generation. It is within our power to bring about the changes we desire. But first, we need to speak up and fight for what everyone deserves.

I hope you learn something from this blog. Thank you!

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