Youth participation

“By the year 2015, there will be three billion people underthe age of 25. They are the future … they are also the now.”

James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank (2003)        

It is imperative to apprehend who youth are, and what makes them unique from other segments of society, what they stand for and what motivates them to be the backbone of a solid and flourishing community.


On the other hand, we should have a clear perspective about them; being young, is also being immature, or inexperienced, albeit, they have the freshness, the vigor, the zeal and they are“unsettled” which refers to the fact that youth are still looking for direction in life.

They are always looking for the path, somewhere to channel all the energy that they have… somewhere to devote their eagerness and enthusiasm. Youth are therefore constantly embroiled in the struggle to be “settled”, directed, controlled but not enslaved or manipulated.        


There is an endless arguing about the youth role and impact in the community improvement process; this is not solely in the economic terms, but also in political and social spheres.

Beyond any doubts, due to the dynamism of youth and their dreams, the argument seems permanent exclusively when it comes to decision making, problem solving, risk management, and a self-evaluation.


Furthermore, Youth are often abused for their idealism because they are constantly looking for meaning and reason in life, they are desirous of a brighter future, seeking to make a contribution to the world and willing to be valuable for the most rewarding tasks … etc. But what if they can’t be able to achieve any of those dreams? Unfortunately it is intertwined with inexperience, which makes them vulnerable to manipulative forces, in many cases the youth will be captured by negative forces, such as, drug dealers, or criminal / terrorist groupings… Etc.


According to Nation Master Stat’s data platform, Tunisia is ranked 45th out of 65 in crime drug with 19.45% of drug users, among them there is 63% between the age of 15 and 23.In addition to that, Quandl Data platform has published the last statistics about Tunisia which ranks 46th on the Global Terrorism Index (GTI), seven places worse than last year. 40% of this amount is basically youth between the age of 18 and 26.


But if we contribute to protect them by settling down a structured plan with a volunteer groups,non-governmental organizations, charitable organizations;leaders can guide them,to the right direction, and then the society will reap the benefits of such fruitful contribution of youth.

Community building, for individuals, focuses on building the capacity and empowerment to identify opportunities for change within or outside of the community. For this purpose we are called to take it on multiple phases to assist our youth in becoming active and well channeled, first we have to provide all the prospects to fund their existenceStudy and plan for methods to involve them and allow them to be able in decision-making, problem-solving … etc.

Contribution is the key. We can go so far if we multiply and enlarge their involvementTheir skill enhancement will be boosted. We have to let them work with real leaders in strong teamwork and integrate them into groups with senior experimented as counselors and that will enable them to build the self-esteem, communication skills needed for their future.


We also have to engage youth as muse for new fresh ideas; they are the best enthusiastic idea-generators. This embraces their culture; yes every year has new wave of culture and it’s mandatory to respect this extreme prompt change of youth,involving them into life contribution on all levels, will make things go easy , bridging the gap between generations will be the best solution to understand them and structure their own spheres of thinking. Instead of losing this power by firmly restraining their contribution and to task-oriented them, youth should be empowered to become full partners in the community development process.


Education which dynamically absorbs this enthusiasm by limiting the way of thinking of our youth, must drastically change, we need a progressive education a real experimenting system. The education system must allow them to identify what they need what they want what are their interests.Teaching life skills, economic self-responsibility, leadership is a must; encourage them to seek activities where they can create positive change for bigger goals.


In the other hand, Politics is the roughest field that can catch the intention of youth.This young blood of nation is its dynamo. So, it is very basic and required to show this fresh blood how responsibility of managing the whole country is. The political scene around the world is changing. Young people are engaging in politics more actively, shaping politics on a local, national and international level, using new tools from the digital revolution. It’s a way to engage themselves but it’s time to adjust this method to a real one, we have to create an environment to let them speak out their doubts and fears about our policy in the Government, why not an assembly for youth!


Furthermore, as adults we ought to not under-estimate what youth are capable for, we have to make them challenging, with us,more serious social issues. This will let them be spontaneously capable of being responsible of changing their communities to a better place.


Preparing them to be active citizens instead of becoming passive irresponsible spoiled adults, youth can take decisions that renovate policies by time;they can make our communities more accountable. This can be effective if adults understand that partnership with youth is valuable, their contributions can build a better community. And that will become a full circle when they become adults and leaders, the next youth will have privileged adults to help them.


These future agents of change should be gifted to live in good circumstances that inspire them and flourish their imagination, ethics, dynamism and goals in order to maintain their improvement. As youth are carried and linked with organizations and civic parts that they have usually been disqualified from, they can contribute in active and equal decision-making at many levels. The more we endure constructive relationships with youth, the more they will learn that they are valued citizens of their communities. This is the real partnerships that will lead to skill enhancement and confidence-building traits, which will help prepare them for crossing toward adulthood.