The UN Should Help Youth Become Agents of Change through Geospatial Mapping

By Kana
October 11, 2018

Last week, the United Nations  launched the Youth2030 Strategy. 

The UN hopes that this strategy will help to create a world in which the human rights of every young person are realized; that ensures every young person is empowered to achieve their full potential; and that recognizes young people’s agency, resilience, and their positive contributions as agents of change.

If the UN wants to achieve all of these things, then I believe that the UN should try to get more young people involved in geospatial mapping. 

Through geospatial mapping, young people can not only learn more about subjects like geography. They can also get involved in the humanitarian mapping community. Some might even become humanitarian mappers. 

If more young people were to become humanitarian mappers, then they would be able to do what they want to do. They would have fun while helping others. And this would make a big difference in the world. 

The majority of young people might not know what humanitarian mapping is, but we do know what it is to help others—and we can certainly help others through humanitarian mapping. 

As pointed out by the UN, we are the largest and most connected, tech-savvy generation the world has ever known. And more than 90 percent of us live in developing countries, which are often most affected by natural disasters.

Think about this. If one quarter of us were introduced to geospatial mapping, we could have a huge impact. We could help disaster response organizations see where people need help following natural disasters. And more people would survive as a result. 

The UN needs to get more young people involved in the humanitarian mapping community. As humanitarian mappers, we can make positive contributions as agents of change. And we do not even need a lot of materials to do it. We just need a computer or smart device.

Either way, adults need to recognize the importance of this UN strategy. For the future of the world, it is very important that we provide more young people with increased opportunity. We are important. And everyone should know that.

Kana is a member of the Girl Scouts of Hawaii and the British Girlguiding Overseas. This article is an extension of her Bronze Award Project for the Girl Scouts of the USA. That project was featured as part of the 2018 Higher Awards Ceremony, and it led to Girls Can Map. To view her petition to the UN, click here.