Special Feature on Youth Education and Protection

(guangzhouaward.org) 2017-01-24

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Youth are any city’s future. It is thus very important for any city to take heed of and tackle any problems that are facing their respective adolescents and to ensure their future development.

This Newsletter focuses on youth education and protection, and selects three representative initiatives to share innovative ideas in solving adolescent problems.

The province of Antioquia, Colombia initiated the project of “Educational Parks” which aim at improving the quality of education and to facilitate innovation in a very conventional state-run educational system. The province of Antioquia is planning to establish 80 such educational parks to be located in deprived and depressed neighbourhoods. Activities in the already built 32 parks focus on entrepreneurship, citizenship, pride and dignity, and  art and culture as means of self-expression. Each park is designed by a different architect reflect local culture and place making. 

In Seoul, Korea adopted two initiatives have been designed to tackle the adolescent problems of Internet addiction and young girls at risk. The “I Will” centers serve as an internet addiction prevention & intervention center while the “S.H.E” program aims at preventing young girls that drop out of school from becoming victims of youth prostitution. Both projects provide youth with professional training and education, giving them a second chance and an opportunity to live a better life. 

In Zouk Mikaël, Lebanon, the program “Building Better Communities” was put forward to encourage youth to engage in community activities. In this program, youth not only receive education and training, but also have the opportunity to practice their learning through community activities. 

The above-mentioned initiatives are very different from and complement traditional education. With the joint effort of all tiers of government and social organizations, these initiatives have proven their effectiveness in promoting a better future for youth at risk. Hopefully these initiatives will inspire other local authorities and their civil society and private sector partners to take equally innovative and bold steps to ensuring a better future for all future generations.  

Cases of youth education and protection:

Antioquia, Colombia: Educational Parks for Youth

Seoul, Korea: Tackling Adolescent Problems through Improved governance 

Zouk Mikaël, Lebanon: Building Better Communities: Inspire, Empower, Engage!