Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Research Gem!

Have you ever found a research gem?  A stack of old photographs, a bundle of 1930 newspaper clippings, or in my case.... a 75 page report of Youth and the Millennium Development Goals written by researchers from Youth Organizations all over the world.  This week's Buzzfeed time was replaced with reading this publication by a 2004 AD HOC Working Group on Youth and the MDGs.    This report explains the importance of youth involvement in implementing the MDGs.  As is a trend with my research thus far, this piece was written by researchers from youth groups all over the world, which is awesome!  I love that the very authorship of the pieces that I am reading reflects the practice of youth involvement.  

There was a quote that stuck with me from the report:

“Young leaders represent our hope for the future, and have the greatest potential to push for realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for 2015, established by the United Nations.” (page 8)

Prime Minister of Thailand His Excellency Thaksin Shinawatra

You are correct indeed, His Execellency Thaksin Shinawatra!  As I learned in this report, youth ages 10-24 make up 1.7 billion of our human population- that's over a fourth of the population; yet still, we are the most underrepresented groups.  Despite all of the apathetic attitudes youth are often perceived to have, the report shows that there are many youth involved in making progress towards the MDG goals.  Each of the MDG goals is outlined with attention to how they affect youth, then youth solutions are given and case studies are provided that show specific instances of youth involvement with an MDG that has been effective.

I call this report a gem for a few different reasons.  First of all, Youth involvement in Social Justice is not an explicit MDG and I have found it challenging to sift through articles, declarations and reports that speak to my topic.  Secondly, the article painted a picture of what youth involvement looks like. I read about 35 person organizations with peer mentorship on the importance of safe sex, online youth forums that give youth networks to talk about their passion and findings for justice work.  Lastly, I found out about key sources of adult support for these groups- by donating space, providing mentoring, funding, or the legitimacy of a corporate name, I found how these youth initiatives find support.  

I am glad that I spent time with this report and learning more about my topic.  May your clicks, scrolls, and searches lead you somewhere wealthy! 

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