Empowering the Next Generation

‘The power of youth is the common wealth for the entire world.’ / Kailash Satyarthi /

The year 2021, yet another year marked by the Covid-19 pandemic has come to an end. However, the pandemic is still with us. The situation is definitely not easy for anyone, but it is exceptionally detrimental to young people who have been deprived of many opportunities usually associated with youth, the ones constituting personal, professional and social development. In view of that, the European Commission designated 2022 as the European Year of Youth to re-establish ‘a positive outlook for European young people negatively affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.’ /EU Monitor/

To empower young people

The EU vision known as NextGenerationEU aims at making Europe green, digital, healthy, strong and equal. This will also be done by promoting and organising new opportunities for young people including the ones available on the European Youth Portal, among others such EU initiatives as Erasmus+,  the European Solidarity Corps, EU Aid Volunteers, the EU Youth Dialogue or Discover EU.

“By youth, with youth, for youth” is the motto that best summarises The UNESCO Youth Programme. On the website young people can find information concerning, among others, Youth Spaces aimed at empowering youth and encouraging them to take action. Furthermore, it is also worth mentioning UNESCO invites young people to participate in free online entrepreneurship training courses available on The Entrepreneurship Campus website.

Greener, Healthier, Stronger, Equal and More Digital with Europeana

Undeniably, as educators, we are all responsible for young people’s development and obliged to support them with all the possible ways of catching up on what they have been robbed of because of the pandemic. Europeana Educators have created numerous learning scenarios teachers can use to make their students greener Europeans, for example, Green IT!, Let’s Make Green Decisions or Climate Change Webquest. If you are looking for some resources to educate your students on how they can obtain a healthier lifestyle, why don’t you check Healthy Choices, Our Healthy Life, LIFT the LID on Mental Heath or Eat healthily, live happily. By implementing the following learning scenarios: Gender Inequality in Workspaces, BreakOUT the Glass Ceiling, Colour-blind Women, From Disability to Creativity, Stronger Together or Pink Triangle –  History and Memory of LGBT+  in European Culture, you will be able to raise awareness about issues related to equality. Lastly, all the resources prepared by the Europeana User Group teachers are based on digital cultural heritage and interesting ICT tools making students improve and acquire more digital skills, however, you can also check the ones particularly emphasising digital literacy.

As Tomas Mann put it, ‘the future of the world belongs to the youth of the world, and it is from the youth and not from the old that the fire of life will warm and enlighten the world.’ Thus, let’s try, in the European Year of Youth 2022, to empower young people so that they can ‘enlighten the world’. Let’s spark the fire!

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By Katarzyna Siwczak, Europeana Education Ambassador

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the National Library of Israel.

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