Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders, equipped not just with energy but with the drive to bring about change. By investing in their growth, we aren’t just brightening their future, but also lighting up the road ahead for all of us. Think about it, they aren’t just tomorrow’s heroes, but are making a difference in the present.
Caught up in the web of their own imaginations, weaving their dreams, navigating life, fighting traditional mindsets that society leaves them with, the young minds of today are seeking opportunities, support and guidance to shape their very present.
Every year, on January 12, India observes National Youth Day or Yuva Diwas to celebrate and embrace the power of youth. Engaging youth in the present discourse to address current footfalls could be a good starting point. Just like these organisations from Goa that have recognized how valuable of an asset the youth are.
Based in Panjim, YUVA is a youth organization that started out in 2012 and ever since has been involved in social work and empowering various sections of society.
One of the areas of work includes youth development and empowerment for which they conduct activities such as cleanliness drives, tree plantation drives, awareness rallies, essay writing and elocution competitions on important social issues, self-defense, first-aid, nutrition awareness, medical emergency combat, fire safety and other programmes.
“Apart from this, we help our members gain quality employment by thoroughly working on their personalities, management and communication skills and giving them good exposure. We as an organization also encourage entrepreneurship, which has helped create quite a few first-generation entrepreneurs,” says Sanath Bharne, Jt Treasurer at YUVA.
YUVA today has 50+ members all of who are below the age of 35. Besides them, there are elder advisors who provide guidance to empower, educate or engage youth to become better citizens.
“Empowering the youth means to tap their potential so that they become capable of taking charge of their own lives, their family as well as taking responsibility of society's well-being. And this is achieved through various activities YUVA conducts,” adds Bharne.
Founded in 2018 by Stevens Dumpala with the help of just six volunteers, the NGO IamConnected grew from the desire of channelising the energy of the youth in the right direction. Today, the organisation has grown to over 30 members and has impacted the lives of many along the way.
“As we can see, many youth suffer depression, low self-esteem, peer pressure, bullying and loneliness. Many have even dealth with suicidal tendencies. We at Iamconnected help tackle these situations with counseling sessions and various fun activities,” says the founder Stevens Dumpala, adding that some youth have actually reached out to them asking for help, even if it meant anonymously.
Iamconnected organises various fun activities throughout the year, including social drives, kayaking, trekking, game sessions, picnics, and much more.
“We have a programme called CU@5 which gears to refine today's youth through multimedia like music, dance, skits, and motivational messages. We also organise activities like having an hour or two of fun music based programmes at the higher secondary and college levels which students relate to,” adds Stevens.
Based in Panjim, the NGO, that’s run by youth, also collaborates with other like-minded NGOs to reach out and empower youth across Goa.