Instruction: You are required to write a 1,500-word essay,
Essay Question or Statement: “Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society’s margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies” – Kofi Annan
Case study: Pacific Youths
Key points from Lectures:
- As pointed out, adolescents make up a huge part not only of their immediate society, but also of Pacific communities worldwide. Their experience of these youths having to navigate 2 very different and distinct cultures/ societies, is very valuable
- Pacific youth more than other ethnic groups are at the forefront of any and every societal restructuring, whether that be the changeover in government; this age groups, suffers the most due to changing policies and decisions.
- Pacific Youth and other ethnic groups are lumped under the notion of a ‘collective minority. Decisions made regarding these groups are generalised across all without taking into consideration that each group have different sets of beliefs and needs.
- These pacific youths are going to be the one who would have to live through those major changes and policies if they were to pass. This knowledge will catalyse and instil rational and smart decision making in youths as a result. It wouldn’t make sense that these youths would be discriminated against because of 1) their age and 2) believing that these youths are incapable of making sounds decisions because of their age.
- Traditionally, the underlying theme in all decision making and changes evoked by elders, factor in traditions. But it is crucial to remember that just because its traditions. and just because they’re older, that it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is right.
- Note how this could be the first of many steps in encouraging Pacific youth and autonomy in changing and managing resources in both environmentally and socially sustainable way. We have to look at the bigger agenda and understanding that this does not only concern the wellbeing of current and future generations, but also a major step in pacific youth being proactive in shaping their own health and well-being.
- It’s about elders playing an ambassadorial role and handing pacific youth the necessary tools and the guidance to be proactive in their future and providing them a platform to express and deliver that through ways that aligns with the expertise of the youth, whether that be sports, dance etc. This would in turn support Positive Youth Development theory as it recognizes that the primary focus of any successful change-seeking initiative, is by placing youths and their interests in the centre and building a support team around implementing it. This is far more effective that building an initiative and having youth change to mould into fitting that initiative.
- We must realize that major changes and policies are only practical and truly successfully if the youth takes part and of which a successful outcome or difference is established in years to come. The fact that the youth are continuously demonised even after many years of evidence-based initiatives, means that along the lines of these decision-making process, youth development was more about controlling the youth rather than evoking change that would nurture them. So long as the communities in which we are embedded in are the same, we’ll continue to see the same pattern and reoccurring themes
- Recognizing that youth are capable of evoking innovation and change but is more effective when there is a co-existence and co-designing strategy between Pacific youth and their elders. It’s within the intersectionality of these two partnerships, where we can find solutions that are both enduring and life changing.