4 Young People Who Are Leading The Way

“This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.” — Robert Kennedy

This International Youth Day we're celebrating 4 young people who are leading the way.

Lama - The Artist

Lama is only fifteen years old. She has already experienced unimaginable trauma, growing up in Gaza. Along with her siblings she was trapped under rubble after an Israeli bomb struck her home.   

Like an estimated 373,000 (let that number sink in) children in Gaza, she is trying to come to terms with her traumatic experience during the conflict. She has found solace in art.

‘I feel like I can take a lot of things that are stored in my heart and reflect them in my drawings. My drawings express what is in my heart. It helps me to feel okay when I do this. It decreases my suffering by drawing. I like to draw things that express our rights to live peacefully and in safety - and our dream to be in Jerusalem.

I have dreams and ambitions and hopes like anybody else. Gaza children should have the right to live in safety, not to get injured. They have the right to grow old and not to be killed when they are young. I would like to teach other young children to be artists and I want to serve my country because I love Palestine.’

Karthick - The Organic Champion

Karthick is 23, he’s one of India’s agripreneurs. 

What is an agriprenuer I hear you say? Well, think of them a bit like a farm manager. Except their farm is made up of about 30 plots of land and farmers from the local villages. They’ve been trained by Christian Aid in progressive farming techniques that allows them to grow organic food that is better for the land and gets them a better price at the market, but they’ve also been trained on how to teach other farmers about organic farming. It’s like pay it forward, but with farming.

When Karthick started organic farming the other farmers in the village were sceptical and they only let him have a small plot of land to trial his organic farming. But now people are asking for his advice and more and more farmers are coming to him to switch their farms to organic. 

Kelechi - The Politician

Last year Kelechi attended a project called the Girls' Parliament, which ran confidence-building training for young girls. The project creates a platform for girls over the age of 16 to share experiences, learn from each other, and empower them to take on leadership positions in their community and get involved in decision making.

The training Kelechi received equipped her to intervene in cases of early marriage in her community. Knowing young girls have the right to refuse early marriage, she supported them to have the confidence to say no. She had learnt in the Girls' Parliament that the way to get things done is to find the people who have power to influence things, so she approached leaders in the local community to help parents understand why they shouldn’t force their daughters into marriage before they’d finished school.

‘I have been a member of the Girls' Parliament for three years now, and it has been a good experience. It has really changed my life and had a great impact on my way of thinking and the way I see myself. Before, I used to care only about myself, I did not think that I could make any impact in my community.’

Abd Al Rahman al Aksa Ayman Youssef Mosleh Saleh - The Beekeeper

Palestinan Syrian refugee pupils come to Tyre Farm from the refugee camps in Tyre, Southern Lebanon, and are taught classes in English, Maths, Arabic and IT. The pupils are taughts the Syrain sylabus, as they want to eventually go back home. The teachers are also Syrian Palestinian refugees, who cannot be employed in schools in Lebanon. The pupils are bussed into Syria by the teachers to sit their exams there, as they cannot sit them in Lebanon. One of the things they’re taught is Beekeeping.

Christian Aid partner JCC is training over 60 young refugees. like Abd Al Rahman al Aksa Ayman Youssef Mosleh Saleh, to become beekeepers, providing them with the beehives, clothes and gloves, and training about how to set up a business. They can also use the industrial machinery on the farm so they can process honey from their bees.