Business Lead the Change.
- 1 Article
Businesses have an extensive role to play in the development of children and youth globally. If both major corporations and small & medium enterprises decided to dedicate their social responsibility programs on advocating children's rights, the results and the impact would be immense. Currently, there are 57 million children who are out of school and need access to quality education. Businesses and corporations can bring education to this huge number of devastated children by collaborating with governments and non-governmental organizations to build schools, and make sure that the schools are fully equipped with the necessary resources and current technology. Corporations can also inspire next generations of scientists and innovators by sponsoring competitions for children. This could be a great boost to the education system. Education is the best investment that corporations can make in the lives of children. With education, these children will grow up with the necessary knowledge needed to fully participate and contribute to the socio-economic development of their communities. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
50.5% of the global population is made up of youths. How is the society taking advantage of the numbers for development purposes? Are the youth valued and considered equal citizens? The current rate of youth unemployment is the highest since the history of civilization. Young people need to be valued, trusted with responsibilities and looked at as equal citizens. Most businesses do not want to employ youths because they are viewed as a risk, when actually they are an asset. Young people of today are very innovative, hungry for knowledge and excited to lead, and unless we can channel this positive energy to the right direction as a society we will be losing out. Businesses and corporate should come up with mentoring programs that are inclusive of the young people. These mentors should be there to guide and nurture the ideas and talents in the youths rather than dictating orders. Businesses should work with education institutions to make sure that the curriculum is skill-oriented, so that when young people come out they are ready for the job-market. Young people have been frustrated looking for jobs, mainly because the education did not equip them enough for the world after school. This needs to change. Young people have the solutions, all they need is to be listened to and recognized as equal partners in development. It is time businesses trusted the youths with different tasks so that they can learn and feel empowered to be a part of the society in a positive way. Businesses should also have comprehensive internship programs that leads to employment for young people.
Businesses should also advocate against child labor by running media campaigns that discourage such, and by ensuring the products they sell are produced in an ethical workplace that respects children rights.