Living in a world full of chaos and instabilities, different groups in society often claim that teens are the future of the world. For sure, as the next generation, we have the responsibilities and obligations to make the world tomorrow a better place. But how can youths contribute to the world? What kind of qualities or characteristics do youths need for being a change agent of the world? Whether the action is done through virtual or physical channels, there are many ways that young people can ‘be the change’ and make a difference in the world.
Think LOCAL, Act LOCAL
Change always starts with small and minor matters. Therefore, young people should always be aware of the local issues that happening around them. They should especially pay attention to the local problems that are affecting their neighborhood or community.
Taking the story of Malala Yousafzai — Malala is a very typical example that demonstrates how young people can make a difference to the world starting from being aware of the issues that surround them. As a girl growing up in Swat Valley, Malala feels dissatisfied and injustice with the issuance of the dogma that bans girls from going to school by the Taliban. With the passion and motivation to make a change to the unreasonable ban, Malala begins blogging for the BBC about life under the Taliban. She also describes how she feels in the final days of going to school.
You may wonder that Malala Yousafzai is only an exceptional case in which many of the young people in the world may not be able to achieve what she has achieved. There are many ordinary youngsters around the world who do the same. For instance, Alain Nteff in Africa, a teenage boy who you may have no idea about who he is, is also doing the same as what Malala does to his own community. Alain Nteff is the founder of Gifted Mom, a health care mobile app in Cameroon. The app helps teenage mothers and health workers calculate due dates, as well as collects and sends information to women in the community. Alain developed this mobile app when he was only 20, the age where most of us are in or have just been. His inspiration for this mobile app came from the alarmingly high death rate of newborn babies and pregnant women in his community. If the story of Malala Yousafzai is not persuasive enough, does the story of Alain Nteff able to move you? Not only great young people who are being recognized by the world can make a difference to the world, but ordinary people like you and I can also definitely do the same. By staying wide awake on the issue happening in the local community and thinking about better ways to deal with these situations, you can also be the next Malala Yousafzai or Alain Nteff.
Think GLOBAL, Join AIESEC
In this globalized world, people often say that it is very important for young people to have a global mindset. Thinking and acting at a local level is not sufficient for us to make a sound impact on the world. Therefore, we have to take one more step forward, to think globally. AIESEC, an international organization run by youth for youth, enables you to think and work from a global context. As the world’s largest youth organization which was established after the Second World War, we strive to achieve peace and fulfill humankind’s potential. And we firmly believe that developing leadership quality in youth is the fundamental solution. We wish to enable young people to develop their leadership through learning from practical experiences in challenging environments. We achieve this by doing exchanges. By joining AIESEC, this international organization, you are able to develop leadership for people around you as well as making an influence on the youth all around the world. Walking with AIESEC exchange, you will be able to apply local knowledge to make a positive impact in a global context.
So, are you ready for the ride to be a changemaker? No more hesitation and ACT NOW! Our world in the future depends on us.