International Youth Day 2022: Intergenerational Solidarity in the fight against hunger

Jul 14, 2022 | Latest News

Friday 12th August is International Youth Day. A day that gives youth around the world the opportunity to call attention to the role they play in creating a better future for our planet.  

The theme of this year’s International Youth Day set by the UN is intergenerational solidarity which aims to highlight the critical need for collaboration across generations, to build a sustainable food system that will ensure both human and planetary wellbeing.  

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world needs to leverage the full potential of all generations. We must foster successful and equitable intergenerational relations and partnerships to ensure “no one is left behind”. (Source UN) 

There has never been a more important time for generations to join together in the fight against ending hunger and poverty. The 2022 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report (SOFI) found that up to 1 in 10 (828 million) people faced chronic, persistent hunger in 2021. That’s an additional 150million people from 2019 and 46 million more than in 2020. 

Implications of COVID-19, climate change, conflict, economic shocks and growing inequalities, are putting pressure on our food systems. Consumer food price inflation continues to exacerbate food insecurity and could cause an additional 19 million people to live with hunger by 2023. 

At The Hunger Project we believe youth are the future stewards of our food systems. Their creativity and progressive thinking are necessary to enact systemic change.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. This is particularly significant as 70% of sub-Saharan Africans, where hunger and poverty are most prevalent, are under the age of 30.

Youth make up 24% of the world’s population. That’s 1.9 billion people between the age of 10 and 24 years old, however, less than 6% of parliamentarians are under 35 years old. Yet youth are often leading the grassroots movement towards mitigating the impact of climate change, gender inequality, racism and conflict. That’s why youth is one of six key imperatives in The Hunger Project’s global five-year strategy, alongside gender, climate, conflict, technology and food. 

This International Youth Day we aim to highlight the important role youth play in  the fight against hunger, alongside how collaboration across generations is vital. We also aim to look at how both youths and adults perceive the other’s role in the fight against hunger and generate a conversation where different generations can be integrated into the solution.  

What We Do: 

The Hunger Project is committed to amplifying the voices of youth and uplifting them as active members in their communities. We mobilise 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. 

At The Hunger Project, we’ve witnessed the power of young voices in growing our impact around the world.

Our Youth Ending Hunger program in Bangladesh, for example, sees an average of 5,000 new young people joining the movement every year. Their increasingly powerful social and environmental activism has the power to transform societies and it is our collective responsibility to elevate young voices. 

 The Hunger Project-Ghana is working with ISP provider BlueTown, Microsoft and USAID to provide young women with the opportunity to break down digital barriers through the provision of fully connected IT centers. The initial programme will provide 6,000 young women with vital knowledge which can be used to help develop their communities. 

 The Hunger Project-Benin has formed the Entrepreneurship Promotion Programme, which benefits youth and families alike by supporting individuals through developing entrepreneurship skills and encouraging business growth. The programme is delivered through meetings which are organised for the epicenter’s youth.  

What you can do?

We, as a global community, must act in the interest of current and future generations. This International Youth Day, take action to amplify the voices of  young leaders and together we can build resilient, sustainable communities free from hunger. 

  • Share the conversation about International Youth Day and let your voice be heard! Follow along and share your thoughts with #YouthDay #IntergenerationalSolidarity #thpyouthvoices 
  • Join our International Youth Day Panel Event on Tuesday 9th August and hear first-hand the impact youth are making to end hunger.  
  • Subscribe to our newsletter to hear more from The Hunger Project UK. 

Here are some stories of the inspiring youth we get to work with every day: 

Changing Mindsets and Actions Around Climate Change 

 Young people like Sadia Maliha, a college student engaged with our Youth Ending Hunger program in Bangladesh, are spearheading climate change resilience and awareness globally. Sadia is co-founder of Earth Care, winner of COP26’s Challenge Fund and was one of our featured speakers during the UN Commission on the Status of Women and Skoll World Forum Ecosystem Day this year. 

Sadia says “I want to continue to learn what I can do for my community and get them to the topic of climate change. I want to teach them about the devastating impact of climate change and help them take steps towards a better future.”

The next future of leaders 

 At just 24 years old, Basanti Gemeti, was elected as President in the Kaliwas Panchayat in India by over 400 votes. Truly remarkable! She attended THP-India’s workshops for women-elected leaders and has since achieved incredible things! 

Basanti connected her panchayat to electricity and had a pipeline constructed. Currently, she is working to have a school built and a road constructed up a mountain to a holy site. She recently won an award for being one of the best  presidents in her area. 

The power of Intergenerational Solidarity

Christopher Nkomo is a Monitoring and Evaluation Animator for THP-Zambia. 

“Before the Project was launched in the Mlawe community in 2019, adults and youths had no relationships whatsoever with regards to community development. From the time the projectstarted until today, I have seen a lot of change and improvement with regard to collaboration between adults and youths in activities that pertain to community development. Meaningful youth engagement trainings which have been conducted for both adults and youths have resulted in a good understanding of the importance of young people’s engagement in community work together with adults. The development taking place in our community is visible because now both adults and youths are working together and sharing ideas.”