Communities should aim to develop its youth, because the youth are the future leaders and hope of every country. Jose Rizal, a national hero in the Philippines, said that the youth are “The Hope of the Fatherland”. How true! Youth development therefore, should be the primary concern of any community.
What community programs could promote youth development? Here are some suggestions for useful and relevant programs:
1. Community service to indigent or needy people
In this program, the youth are taught to be generous by encouraging them to share what they have. These contributions may come in the form of used clothes, second hand books, other used items and even their time, could be considered as one contribution. They then distribute these items to the indigent people and interact with them.
This activity will develop their generosity and sense of social responsibility for people who are less fortunate.
It will also demonstrate to them the joy of being of service to other people; that thinking of the welfare of others would give them joy that is satisfying.
2. Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene
Getting them involved in environmental beautification and clean-up, will develop their sense of cleanliness not only with their personal hygiene but with their surroundings as well. This will also make them aware of their greater responsibility to the environment in which they live in.
3. Nature preservation
Taking part in this activity will teach them how to preserve nature and the environment so that Mother Nature will take care of them in return.
Lectures should be conducted before they are allowed to take part, so that they’ll be able to understand why they have to help in Mother Nature’s preservation. This may involve, tree planting as part of a reforestation project or promoting a campaign to people about the preservation of nearly extinct animals.
4. Beautification of the community
This may involve landscaping of vacant lots within the city with flower beds or even vegetable patches. Playgrounds may also be constructed for children. The youth maybe able to help through assisting the builders in this noteworthy activity.
The youth would learn how seemingly “useless things” could be converted into something useful and beneficial to the community.
This will promote good will too among all generations, children, teenagers and old people.
5. Support groups for the community
This maybe a prayer group, a sports group, a book club, alcoholic anonymous,
“No to drug” groups, etc.
These are groups that could help each other out with personal problems and other concerns, like spiritual and physical development. They would show support for people who need moral and spiritual guidance.
In this activity, the youth would develop their sense of empathy and concern. They would learn that helping people with their problems would help them forget their own problems. These will also develop their skills in counseling and advisement.
It could also make them physically fit and healthy with the different sports participated in. Alcoholism and drug addiction could be prevented through this worthy endeavour.
These are only some activities that could promote development of the youth in mind, body and soul. The total development of the youth is however dependent on his willingness to participate in the programs, proper motivation should therefore be established by concerned people. If all non-government and government organizations join hands in promoting youth development, then these programs would succeed.