Globally, being a youth has been rated the best time in one’s life – most youth enjoy so much fun, enthusiasm, friendship, and worry-free life. These youthful exuberances become memories as they gradually grow into adulthood. For example, for some elderly people, there are countless reminiscing episodes of youthful days that refuse to diminish with time.
It is a recognised fact that the youth are the future of every country. In politics, this statement has been sometimes used to get the masses (including the youth) to believe in the policies proposed by presidential aspirants or incumbent governments. ‘Youth Empowerment’ is a phrase coined into our present-day governance.
Youth can be defined as ‘The appearance, freshness, vigor, and spirit, characteristic of one who is young”. It is the time of life when one is young –it means, the time between childhood and adulthood (maturity).
Globally, the youth have had a fair share of challenges and troubles. Recently, international organizations, non-government organisations and government bodies/agencies have advocated fighting youth challenges and established guidelines to enhance youth developments in the areas of quality education, good health care, child right, leadership programs, equal employment opportunities, and the fight against discrimination amidst others.
Due to technological advancements in the 21st century, youth-related problems have changed or escalated, as current youth are faced with challenges that are unique with this generation. Studies have shown that modern-day youth challenges include but not limited to child violence, mafia, drug trafficking, etc. There is now a Youth Empowerment theory proposed to enable young people to take responsibilities in society for future leadership assignments. In the world today, many young adults are given the opportunity to be part of the governance systems as a way of implementing agendas and ideologies targeted at the youth.
The election of Sebastian Kurz (33 years) as Chancellor of Austria, Sanna Marin (34 years) as Prime Minister of Finland, Nayib Bukele (38 years) as President of El Salvador, Jacinda Ardern (39 years) as Prime Minister of New Zealand has pushed the frontiers of youth inclusion in national governance the world over.
Despite efforts by youth-focused organizations and government policies to help salvage the situation, there are real youth problems that are prevalent in all countries. There are some serious and major youth problems that are yet very discreet and are hard to fight; some which go mostly undetected – they are in almost every home and are wrecking the youth worldwide.
Unlike youth issues like social media addiction, sexing and video game addiction, some youth go through complicated modern-day psychological disorders (bipolar, depression, schizophrenia, paranoia, etc.) for which they need immediate medical diagnoses for early treatments.
These modern-day challenges are a major cause of suicide in most developed countries and effectively, a source of most abandoned dreams by the youth. Admittedly, these issues are very challenging to handle; they need experts’ and parents’ attention. Despite efforts by stakeholders to curtail youth-related problems worldwide, problems that go beyond what we see – matters of the heart, require special attention and expertise for solution.
Refreshingly, there are a few individuals and organizations that specialize in heart-related problems and modern-day psychological related issues; and Rev. Dr. Ock Soo Park, founder of the International Youth Fellowship (IYF) is one of such specialists.
In one of his Books Who is not Me but in Me, Rev. Dr. Ock Soo Park explains: ‘Imagine there is a heart store that sells human hearts, you can freely buy for yourself the best heart. For instance, if you have a heart that gives you a problem like depression, you can buy a brand new heart that is not shaken by depression or fear’.
Rev. Dr. Ock Soo Park operates such a heart store. Through the International Youth Fellowship, he lectures and trains the youth to develop new hearts inside of them.
He has led many youths globally to overcome several challenges – he is an expert in heart-related matters.
Youth problems are becoming a vicious cycle of challenges which need careful and selfless people to overcome. Organisations – both government and non-governments which are willing and ready with the right expertise, must be encouraged and given the needed supports (logistics and finances) to help save the time.