- Children Believe and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change celebrate International Youth Day by announcing an expanded joint program strengthening global citizenship of youth.
- The Generation Global program will support intercultural dialogue and build skills.
- Generation Global launched in 2009 and has since extended to 30+ countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and Children Believe expand joint initiative to strengthen youth’s global citizenship
Young leaders in Burkina Faso, Ghana and India engage in intercultural dialogue and build 21st-century skills through Generation Global
More than 1,200 youth in Burkina Faso, Ghana and India will engage in intercultural dialogue and explore contemporary global issues — including climate change, gender rights and action against hate speech — as part of an expanded joint program announced today (International Youth Day) by the Canadian charity, Children Believe and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI).
“Youth are vital for building a better future, and key to this is the need for young people today to be global citizens who can nimbly navigate critical issues in our complex interconnected world,” says Fred Witteveen, CEO of Children Believe. “Those who face barriers to education especially need to be equipped with these skills if they are to thrive in rapidly changing societies and if we are to overcome issues like poverty. Children Believe and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change have joined forces in Burkina Faso, Ghana and India to help make sure they aren’t left behind.”
Generation Global is TBI’s education program for young people aged 13 to 17. It enables them to embrace the future, equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to become active and open-minded global citizens. The program offers free, flexible teaching resources on global issues and quality training for educators to support young people’s global citizenship development. Facilitated video conferences and an online global community create a safe space for intercultural dialogue between young people.
Generation Global launched in 2009 and has since extended to more than 30 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. It has supported more than 570,000 young people and trained more than 15,000 teachers in the skills of intercultural dialogue.
“Generation Global is delighted to be in partnership with Children Believe through a program that will introduce global citizenship skills and facilitate global connections for young people in some of the more remote and underserved areas of the world,” says Lucy Hayter, director of Generation Global at TBI. “Children Believe’s operations in six countries, its trusted engagement with rural schools and communities, and importantly, a vision we also share to unlock young people’s full potential, makes for an enriching and impactful collaboration.”
Children Believe and TBI piloted Generation Global in schools and youth clubs supported by Children Believe in India last year. The popular program is now being scaled up there and expanded to students in Burkina Faso and Ghana.
“I was reluctant to speak in public. Never once have I done any public speaking,” says Ezhilarasi, 17, a participant from Tamil Nadu, India. “But participating in video conferences organized by Generation Global made me realize that it is important as a girl to raise our voices about issues that affect us. The skills I learned have helped me organize and present my thoughts, and I have begun to speak up now.”
Teachers in West Africa are enthusiastic about offering the Generation Global program to students. “This will be very good for our students,” says Brenda Amadu Amoah, a junior high school teacher in Tamale, Ghana who took part in a recent educator training session. “They’ll be exposed to other ideas and ways of being, and they’ll gain confidence and be able to better express themselves through the dialogue practice.”
Saidou Dialla, an education specialist with Children Believe Burkina Faso, emphasized the relevance of Generation Global. “In a world that has become a global village, young people have the same concerns regardless of their race, geographic location, social status, gender or religion,” says Dialla. “They will only be responsible citizens tomorrow — with the ability to act in an informed manner — if they learn to play this role today.”
ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE:
Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.
About ChildFund Alliance:
A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.