IFES Celebrates International Youth Day 2020

Text: International Youth Day | 2020 Youth Engagement for Global Action

The United Nations first celebrated International Youth Day on August 12, 2000, to recognize young peoples’ contributions to public and political life in their communities, countries and around the world. In support of this year’s theme, “Youth Engagement for Global Action,” the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) will showcase young leaders who are leading efforts at the local, national and global levels to bolster young people’s engagement and participation in democratic processes during a monthlong social media campaign on Twitter @IFESYouth and @IFES1987. Additionally, @IFES1987 hosted a Facebook Live event on August 12 titled “Young Leaders Building Sustainable Democracies,” in which global young leaders spoke about their experiences as positive changemakers and overcoming barriers, such as those posed by COVID-19, to promote young people’s leadership and participation.

IFES programming seeks to foster lifelong patterns of participation in community and public affairs through formal and nonformal programs and by partnering with civil society, election management bodies, government officials and institutions to create more inclusive systems and processes that are more representative and tailored to young people’s voices. IFES programs support school-aged children and those who have not reached the age of enfranchisement to learn about democratic values to prepare them to be active citizens. IFES provides knowledge and skills-building opportunities for newly enfranchised voters and young leaders to effect change and sustain democratic processes globally.

Learn more about IFES’ youth initiatives by visiting the Youth Engagement webpage and following @IFESYouth on Twitter.

Promoting Unity Through Youth-Led Community Organizing in Georgia

“Organized communities can overcome the condition of being voiceless and transform their reality by themselves. Community organizing is a process by the people, of the people, for the people.” – Ali Mamedli, youth community mobilizer

To empower underrepresented populations and provide spaces for young Georgians to influence decision-making, IFES launched the “Knowledge, Advocacy, Responsibility, engagement” (KARe) initiative. IFES recently asked three KARe youth community mobilizers to share their thoughts on solidary, community organizing and equality. Learn more.

Facebook Live: Young Leaders Building Sustainable Democracies

IFES hosted a Facebook Live event with three leaders from IFES programs who have taken action in their communities. Watch the video below and read the transcript.

Webinar: Exercising Your Voice Is Just a Click Away!

“Young people’s contributions are key to sustainable democracy and it is important that young people are involved in shaping laws and policies that affect them.” – Ashley Law, IFES youth specialist

IFES has been hosting a series of webinars on administering elections in Europe during a pandemic and its impact on democratic processes. The most recent webinar focused on the importance of young people’s participation in elections and how they can address challenges around digital activism. Learn more.

Bangladeshi Youth Leading Through COVID-19

To provide a space for young Bangladeshi leaders and technical experts to collaborate and enhance young people’s capacity to counter COVID-19 challenges, IFES and Dhaka University’s Microgovernance Research Initiative organized 11 webinars for the SAVE network. More than 200 students and faculty from 21 universities participated in the virtual events on topics such as online education, social media and the rights of persons with disabilities and women. Learn more.

CEPPS Engages Young Leaders Across the Globe

Young people's participation in public and political life contributes to sustainable democracies. Under the Youth Democracy and Governance Cross-Sectoral Initiative, the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) partners have convened global young leaders, practitioners and donors to explore opportunities and share promising practices that advance opportunities for young people to lead and participate in decision-making positions and processes. Read the post-event briefs to learn more about how to support meaningful opportunities for youth participation.

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