Community activities and civic responsibility
Community activity is part of ‘civic responsibility. It’s about contributing to our community because we want to give back to our society and help others.
The youth can learn about civic responsibility and be active in their community by doing any social work. They can develop leadership skills required for today’s challenges by involving themselves in applied community development work. For example, they can volunteer in a social group, provide food to the homeless, teach your favorite subject to those who struggle, promoting causes such as environmental issues, refugee rights, charities, help animals find homes and much more.
How can we engage youth within our communities so that they feel at ease and can fully contribute?
Getting involved in the local community work can boost a teenagers confidence and self-esteem.
The youth today needs involvement and a practical approach. They would like it if they get to lead in some way. So if you want to engage them, then you should give them a platform to lead, suggest and deliver. Giving them the onus to organize and execute events will also help.
1. To have a vision, to have a cause at heart: The more young people adhere to some vision or believe in what they’re doing, the more this passion compels them to participate in it. However, for this engagement to become concrete, their vision has to be supported by creating a community’s belief – in which they feel necessary. In both cases, the community is willing to incorporate youth through a vision, a set of values, priorities and a plan of action corresponding to this orientation. Thus, any decision regarding youth becomes an opportunity for a youth/ adult partnership or the creation of a youth-led initiative. Such a vision will infuse your neighborhood with new energy as young people will feel more dedicated and motivated to contribute. Furthermore, this commitment will grow if they’re invited to define the strategic parameters together with the adults.
2. To feel competent, contribute with one’s skills and strengths: The more young people are allowed to make the most of their skills and feel capable, the more they will commit to the work. Youth involvement in management encourages communities to highlight their distinctive elements and construct their most important strengths to be advantageously placed in a highly competitive atmosphere. It fits less well with the focus on strengthening flaws to enhance a community, a strategy that’s becoming more and more abandoned. Instead, communities are working more with their resources, strengths and tastes because every individual’s best development chances are in the domains where they have the best skill set. This strength-based importance is essential when creating partnerships with youth.
3. To have responsibilities and clarity of roles and action: The more youth are conscious of their duties and role in the community, the more they will commit. Recent studies researching various means that young people use to make themselves heard and learn to become active and responsible citizens have arrived at the same conclusions: the young people themselves are forcing us to do otherwise. It is no longer a question of just transferring knowledge. We will need to work with them as co-creators and partners. They need opportunities to participate as citizens and increase their awareness of responsibility via debates and discussions in their communities, the projects they lead, and the influential spaces they occupy.
4. To be recognized and receive regular feedback: The more youth are recognized for their achievements, the more will they commit to the community.
There are many ways to manifest this recognition: through supportive words such as feedback and concrete gestures like setting up meeting times suitable for their schedule. Some young people have pretty tight schedules (studies, work, volunteer work, leisure and sports, etc.) whereas others have lots of free time. It is tough to provide a homogenous picture of youth these days. This diversity needs different strategies to reach and engage different childhood in our communities.
5. To have influence and the opportunity to express one’s opinion
The more freedom is given to the youth to play an influential role in the community, the more they will commit. This entails identifying opportunities for youth to share the power and be connected with the decision-making process and see how this sharing could be actualized. While youth frequently have difficulty demonstrating their skills, there are few opportunities to show them in front of adults. In this vicious circle, the notion of shared leadership grows very slowly, and also the power remains in adults’ hands for a long time. But, we know the theory: a decision taken jointly creates more devotion on both sides.
6. To be supportive: The more community supports the youth and provides them with resources, the more they will commit. When young individuals have opportunities to play an influential part in the communities, the support of influential people is often key to their success. Furthermore, these friendly allies or leaders often behave as role models for youth and significantly impact their lives. Young people frequently get involved in projects or communities that meet their immediate needs and preferences and correspond with their future aspirations. As from the organizational change context, if leaders don’t back up the change (supporting young people to possess and utilize their power), the chances of the change happening are very slim.
7. To grow in the community supporting the expression of creativity: The more communities promote the emergence of creativity, the more youth will commit. In addition, new thoughts and trends shape the ideas for the future that are very different from those we initially created.
To prepare for this new way of doing things, communities may want the creative contributions of young people. Indeed youth are often more open, flexible and much more imaginative than adults. Their existence, energy, advice and thoughts can quickly improve a community. Moreover, learning to work with the youth opens new horizons that are incredibly different from the typical methods of doing things; it prepares us for the future with much more self-confidence and humility.
The youth is considered the backbone of the future society. Participation of the young people as community planners for its development is now considered as an essential role. The strength of the youth has meaningfully been contributed to the evolution of society.
The young generation has taught the critical factors within themselves in helping the community develop. Their principal role is to be fearless and courageous enough to take action when in need and fight against injustice.
They help build up a character for the nation’s people, as they remain and portray that they are morally strong. However, the fledgling being impulsive can take a toll on the society, due to which having patience and thinking to be sure of before taking any action is an essential step for them. Therefore, the importance of time and being punctual is their responsibility.
Their hard work in all fields and facing challenges is one responsibility they hold upon. The social issues, when discussed and ideas being shared, shows the capability of the generation for the society. Today’s contribution is significant as it is said that they are the ‘leaders of tomorrow.’
The knowledge and learning that they have today are what the coming generations would know of. They are the continuity for recreation, so one of their roles is to share intercultural marriages all over the country.
This applied community development work allows the youth to build experience by focusing on professional skills and knowledge relevant to ongoing development work.
The youth need to be educated and encouraged to not let the charm of community development fail. The creative potential of the younger generation, coupled with their zeal, enthusiasm, energy, eagerness, and flexibility, can work wonders for the nation.
The youth should not be provided with simply any kind of education, but the proper kind makes them logical, coherent, open-minded, self-regarding, honest, and patriotic. Keeping peace within the community would also lead to peace within the country.
Volunteering allows youth to work through real challenges and make meaningful change.
Young people who volunteer regularly develop a civic identity as leaders and change-makers and become more socially and politically active adults.
For those who’d like to pursue a career in community development, the scope is endless. A career in applied community development leads to getting jobs at schools, colleges, public, private and non-profit organizations. An applied community development degree program draws information from many fields, including anthropology, urban studies and political science. Some of the skills you will learn with a community development degree are growing organizations, monitoring & Evaluating programs, sustainable Nature Use and much more.
Top Universities abroad offer Community Development courses:
Future Generations University
University of Glasgow
Portland State University
University of Illinois