First Youth Against Hunger Meeting, Toronto
“Youth engagement” is a term that gets thrown around a lot – one of those things every organization acknowledges is important, but few do particularly well. The challenges youth face in mobilizing around social causes are unique, and are not always understood by those of a different (older) generation. Action Against Hunger Canada recognizes this – and so it’s looking to youth to lead the process.
My name is Clarke Foster, and I’m one of the members of the inaugural Youth Against Hunger advisory panel. Consisting of nine members, ages 15-24, the panel will support ACF Canada to carry out awareness events, engage youth, and innovate unique partnerships with diverse communities. With members from Calgary to St. John’s, the council will play a critical role in engaging Canadian youth, and will motivate local action to take on the challenges of global malnutrition.
Why youth? Because Canadian youth are full of brilliant ideas and remarkable passion. They are able to think outside the box – and question whether the box even needs to exist. In a few years they will be the ones leading the fight to tackle global malnutrition; today, it’s critical that they begin to learn about the issues.
Youth are also able to plan activities that are most relevant to people their age. I, for example (being on the older end of the “youth” spectrum), have pushed for guest participation in this ACF blog (a form of professional development for undergraduate students). And, as I mentioned above, I will be looking to see what ACF’s 36 years of experience tackling global malnutrition can tell aspiring international development professionals about what the problems of tomorrow will be, so that they can start developing the skills needed, today.
And that is just to start. Stay tuned.