Guest post by Karissa Tom
This year’s International Youth Day highlights youth migration as a leading issue concerning the world’s largest population in history. According to a recent UN report, young people account for between 36% and 57% of international migrants. Additionally, approximately half of all migrants are women. Though migration may offer many education and employment opportunities in a new country, youth may also be exposed to many risks after migration.
At Asante Africa Foundation, we believe in not only educating young people in the classroom, but also preparing them for their futures. Through programs like the Leadership Incubator, students learn important leadership skills that allow them to Pay It Forward and inspire others to become change agents in their own communities. Our work in rural communities has made educational and vocational opportunities more visible to youth, which then enables them to establish concrete goals for the future, rather than looking to migration as a solution.
When migration does become necessary, youth who are educated have increased access to the necessary information to ensure a safe migration and have better prospects in their new countries. Additionally, educated young women will have more mobility in their new countries, and therefore, are more independent.
This year, let’s work together to make youth a priority. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has stated, “I am fully committed to working with youth and exploring how you can contribute more to creating a stainable, equitable future of opportunity and dignity for all.” With a quality education, young people will soon be fulfilling Mr. Ban’s vision.