UN Secretary – General António Guterres
August 12 is International Youth Day, a day to bring attention to the power of the world’s youth and encourage young people’s inclusive participation in creating a better future. The theme of this year’s International Youth Day is “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health” and highlights the critical role of young people in building a healthier and more sustainable food system that will ensure both human and planetary wellbeing.
The FAO State of Food Security Report has revealed that COVID-19 was an unprecedented setback in the global effort to end hunger. COVID-19 highlighted how fragile our global progress toward ending hunger really is. The ongoing global effort to end hunger cannot be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people everywhere. Today’s youth must have voice and agency in the decision-making processes that affect them.
Our food systems are being jeopardized by myriad global issues that are further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fragility of food systems is most noticeable in those that rely on trade, and the negative impacts of food system failures most acutely effect small-food producers, women and girls, and Indigenous populations. The lasting effects of current food policies will impact all future generations. Young people around the world are the future stewards of our food systems. Their creativity and progressive thinking is necessary to enact systemic change. Food systems will need this kind of change as challenges of the climate crisis, public health, population growth and poverty increase and continue to stifle progress towards our goal of ending hunger. By encouraging young people to create innovative solutions for food systems and our planet, and by ensuring that they have a seat at the table at every level of decision-making that impacts their future, we can sustainably transform our global food systems.
Join The Hunger Project, the Movement for Community-Led Development and FeelGood our partners around the world in endorsing young people everywhere as the future leaders of our world and stewards of vital global food systems.
What We Do
The Hunger Project is 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 women and men with the skills, methods and knowledge needed to take self-reliant action to improve their lives and conditions in their communities.
Here are some stories of the inspiring youth we get to work with everyday:
“Boys take many advantages, why not girls? Everyone should have the right to take part in cultural activities.” – Bonani
Over 100,000 young leaders like Bonani have engaged in self-and community-development activities with THP-Bangladesh. Youth are the future!
Christine noted, “As I hiked, I could not stop thinking about the plight of the Nyarukamba girls who trek this journey every day back and forth to school, despite having no access to sanitary pads. They never miss school. The hike was a spiritual awakening and allowed me to reflect on the Epicenter Strategy and how it promotes self-reliance among community partners. The realization has motivated me to rally behind our communities as they demand favorable policies that support women and girls to meet their basic needs, including access to better sexual and reproductive health and services to break the stigma of menstruation.”
“When I was in grade 5, I learned from THP-Ethiopia teachers and girls’ club peer educators about my right to pursue an education and the risks of early marriage. That same year, my family agreed to marry me to a local man. I was only 12 years old. I told [my father] again and again about what I had learned, including the side effects of early marriage, which, I suspect, affected him and finally won his favor. Now I am in grade 7 and tell my stories to my friends who may face the same problem so that they too can defend themselves.”
What You Can Do
- Invest now in youth around the globe who are working to end hunger.
- Join the global conversation about International Youth Day and let your voice be heard! Follow along and share your thoughts with #YouthDay and #YouthMakeADifference.
- Join the TikTok Takeover by answering the question: “How do you make the world a better place for the future?” Then tag us @TheHungerProject and use #YouthDay and #YouthMakeADifference.