Don’t think big – think doable. If all of us find just one lost receptive person, we will become visible to many more who are searching for us. Last year’s 30 Day Countdown gives some idea of the wide range of actions people can take, but just asking someone if they have heard of the Youth Rights Day and taking the conversation from there to wherever you want to go would produce dramatic results if we all did it. Share your ideas of what people can do for Youth Rights Day in the Facebook group.
The Youth Rights Day was originally envisioned “as a festival of events organized by groups throughout the world to showcase the talents of youth, the contributions they have to make, and the work being done to promote youth rights.” While this is still something to pursue, the focus has shifted more to supporting the aim of the UN to establish a “global debate on how education needs to be rethought.” This is the aim it states in its November 2021 report titled: Reimagining our futures together: a new social contract for education.
All of the days leading up to the Youth Rights Day could be used to grow that debate. A conversation might begin with, “It’s cold out today isn’t it?”, and then quickly turn to, “May I ask you a question? Have you heard of the Youth Rights Day?” Where the conversation goes from here would depend upon the experience of the person initiating the conversation.
People new to the topic who still have much to learn might say that they only recently heard of it and looked into it a little. They might then mention something they discovered such as the Progressive Education website which was created by a mother after her children began to experience difficulty at school, or any of the other plentiful related efforts, articles, books, democratic schools, and organizations raising awareness of the benefits to respecting youth rights. The conversation might end with the initiator saying, “I’m having a few people over to my place on the Youth Rights Day to talk about how we might improve our treatment of young people. Would you like to join us?”
Those who are already informed may turn the conversation to a youth rights respecting organization they belong to or work for. They might ask, “Have you heard of the Learning Planet?”, (or YouthxYouth, AERO, Student Voice, Unschooling School, EUDEC, etc.) That conversation might end with the initiator inviting the other person to some activity an organization is conducting on the Youth Rights Day. An example might be, “Uniting for Children and Youth is hosting a screening of the documentary film by Wondering School titled School Circles. Would you like to come?” The activity does not need to be something big. An organization might simply draw attention to the work it is doing with an informal hour of question and answer. Imagine the effect that could be created if only a hundred organizations used the Youth Rights Day to urged their members to reach out into their communities to build awareness of youth rights and how to respect them.