Sara was a member of Plan International USA’s Youth Advisory Board.
Before I went to the summit, I was just an adolescent interested in making a change in the world. I was not greatly educated about global issues prior to this week. This leadership summit changed that for me. I was not only educated on global issues, but I was also taught the steps and techniques to change and help solve them. In addition to acquiring this useful information, I also created many relationships with people that will support me in pursuing my goals. I was initially struck by the openness and friendliness of the counselors and directors. The bonds that evolved with my like-minded peers will stay with me forever. This week absolutely exceeded my expectations.
As a part of the youth myself, I feel that it is essential for young people to know about and take action on global issues. Young people have unique opinions which should be taken into consideration; organizations such as Youth United for Global Action and Awareness (YUGA) allow these ideas to be heard. In addition, young people tend to be energetic and determined, which will ultimately result in successful outcomes. Social media is now a key component of communication in today’s society and young people are constantly using it, so they will easily be able to spread ideas and make others aware of global issues. We, as the young people are the people that will have to deal with the effects of these issues so it is vital that we learn how to solve them, so we will not have to live with the negative outcomes of these problems.
For young people like me interested in global issues there are many actions you can take. It is always very important to stay up to date with what is going on in the world. Reading and watching the news is absolutely necessary to do if you are interested in global issues. YUGA provides young people with an ample amount of information to start to approach creating change on a global level. The two YUGA campaigns, Because I Am A Girl and Walk4Wells, both pinpoint two extremely important global issues that the participants of YUGA are helping to change. Walk4Wells helps to build wells in less fortunate countries where the people have an inadequate clean water supply. Because I Am A Girl helps raise awareness of the problem of gender inequality, and it helps to make improvements on girls’ lives, giving them access to protection, school, skills and livelihoods. These two campaigns are just a couple of the many things YUGA does in order to take action on global issues. YUGA teaches you how to start a YUGA chapter in your school, how to start and organize a campaign and gives you the opportunity to apply for several conferences where your voice will be heard. In conclusion, this experience was invaluable and I am grateful to YUGA for giving me the opportunity to make the world a better place.