Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages
International Youth Day is celebrated each August 12 to recognize the influence of young people on the world — to promote their inclusion in building a better future with all of us. This year’s International Youth Day theme is Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages, highlighting intergenerational relations and their critical role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Did you know that the global population is younger than ever?
of sub-Saharan Africa is under the age of 30.
of people globally are between age 10 & 24.
The activist youth population is old enough to have internalized the pain of inequities — inequities that lead to hunger, economic distress and conflict — and yet they are rarely consulted on finding solutions. Without meaningful involvement from young people everywhere, the current global movements to end hunger and poverty cannot be successful.
The theme this year is calling for collaboration and solidarity across all age groups – young and old – to work together to create sustainable solutions to end hunger, poverty, inequalities and alleviate the impacts of climate change. Ageism (against both the young and elderly) has been identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an unaddressed issue in health, human rights and development, impacting employment, political participation and justice systems.
The creativity and inclusion of young people is critical as we seek global, systemic change. They will be the ones to carry new systems and ways of being into the future. Food systems in particular will need this kind of change as challenges from the climate crisis, public health concerns and increasing poverty continue to stifle progress towards our goal of ending hunger.
At The Hunger Project we believe the youth are the future stewards of our food systems for several key reasons:
Youth leaders blaze the trail towards equity.
We are committed to amplifying the voices of youth and uplifting them as active members in their communities. We mobilize entire communities into self-reliance by building people’s skills, leadership and confidence. This means equipping young people with the skills, methods and knowledge needed to take self-reliant action to improve their lives and conditions in their communities. At The Hunger Project, we’ve witnessed the power of young voices in growing our impact around the world.
(Click each program name below for a detailed description.)
- Youth Ending Hunger Program
- Bluetown, Microsoft and USAID Partnership
- Entrepreneurship Promotion Program
- Movement for Community-Led Development
Our Youth Ending Hunger program in Bangladesh sees an average of 5,000 new young people joining the movement every year. Their increasingly powerful social and environmental activism has the power to transform societies and it is our collective responsibility to elevate young voices.
The Hunger Project-Benin has formed the Entrepreneurship Promotion Program, which benefits youth and families alike by supporting individuals through developing entrepreneurship skills and encouraging business growth. The programme is delivered through meetings which are organized for the epicenter’s youth.
Join The Hunger Project, the Movement for Community-Led Development, FeelGood and our partners around the world in endorsing young people everywhere as the future leaders of our world and stewards of vital global food systems.
Key facts and figures.*
- Youth ages 15-24 make up ~16% (1.2 billion) of the world’s population.
- Youth make up 25% of the world’s population.
- 70% of sub-Saharan Africans, where hunger and poverty are most prevalent, are under the age of 30.
- World youth unemployment rate for 2021 was 17.89%, a 0.68% increase from 2020.
- 9 percent of people aged 15-24 live on less than $1.90 a day (World Data Lab 2019).
- 500 million youth live in rural, relatively undeveloped areas where employment opportunities are scarce. (Rural Development Report 2019)
- Globally, less than 6% of the parliamentarians are under 35 years old.
- Voter turnout among 18-25 year olds continues to be lower than other age groups.
- 500 million youth have no computer internet access.
*All numbers are credited to the United Nations, UNICEF, World Health Organization, World Food Programme, World Bank, United Nations Population Fund or International Labor Organization unless otherwise listed.
Image above: Karnataka, India 2020
Photo for the The Hunger Project by Sujata Khanna