National Youth Day is celebrated on January 12 every year. This holiday, initially began in India to honor one of the greatest supporters and believers in the spirit and potential of youth power, Swami Vivekananda. He was instrumental in introducing the philosophies and benefits of Yoga to the western world, drawing attention to wide-spread poverty in India and teaching and demonstrating principles and behaviors that became a great source of inspiration for the youth of India.
Swami Vivekananda, spiritual and social leadership focused on exemplifying principles that encouraged youth education and empowerment through inspiring youth to strive for excellence, leadership and the courage to promote cultural and social change in India and around the world. National Youth Day also focuses on activities that lead to activism and discussion of socio-economic and political issues facing young people.
Over time, a series of events led to Youth Day celebration and activities now being celebrated around the world. In 1999, the United Nations decided to establish a similar day of celebration, International Youth Day, which is celebrated on August 12th every year. Both Youth Days are meant to generate awareness and activities to recognize and promote the potential of young people to provide a different point of view in solving global problems and enhancing their ability to make a difference in affecting positive change in education, religious, social, environmental and political issues in our communities and our world.
At GSSA, we encourage you to identify at least one young person in your life who you can mentor, encourage and support in growing up to be caring and productive citizens who will develop the desire to give back to their community and help others in need. We applaud families and mentors that model and teach children to volunteer in their communities, serve others and participate in opportunities to develop their leadership potential. These efforts are crucial to the future of promoting a caring and just society.
Below are few ideas to help celebrate and commemorate National Youth Day:
Ideas to Commemorate National Youth Day
Work with a young person to secretly plan and conduct an act of kindness for someone in need.
Volunteer for a short term project with a youth organization.
Organize your children or a group of youth to participate in a service project.
Invite young people to volunteer or intern with your organization.
Act as a motivational speaker at a school, church or youth group.
Secretly recognize the achievements of a youth in your world with a gift card or other token of appreciation.
Teachers and youth leaders can also teach the meaning of Youth Day by organizing educational activities, including essay writing, debate, or group discussion on issues of local or national importance to youth to help develop and promote youth leadership to impact future generations.
Written and Submitted by GSS Agent #103