Spotlight on Adolescents at the United Nations 71st General Assembly

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is in the midst of their 71st session, and has taken a special approach to tackling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to maintain the commitment to combating some of the most important problems of our time, world leaders are emphasizing the important role of adolescents in achieving the SDGs by 2030. Many events have focused specifically on adolescents.  To name a few, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) held a day-long session on September 21st entitled “Adolescents and Youth: The Driving Force for the Sustainable Development Goals”; Population Council hosted, “Retooling Adolescent Girl Programming: Resources for Intentional Program Design” on September 19th; Every Woman Every Child put on “Together for the 2030 Agenda: Partnering for Women, Children and Adolescents, to Thrive and Transform the World”; and dozens of other events concerning the international community’s need to support adolescents and their leadership in order to ensure a more sustainable future.

Mr. Thoai Ngo, Deputy Director of Poverty, Gender and Youth at Population Council, stated at their “Retooling” event in regards to programming that, “We have to be intentional on how we reach adolescents and the content we deliver to that group.” Accordingly, to ensure adolescents have a role in achieving the SDGs, effective programs must support and nurture them in both local and international communities through education, empowerment, and employment – precisely how FRJ’s programming endeavors to do in offering valuable fashion-related livelihood and life-skills to adolescent orphans and vulnerable children.  With these vocational skills, FRJ’s program participants will grow into socially and economically independent adults who contribute to the development of their own communities.

You don’t have to be in New York City attending UNGA sessions and events to support adolescents globally through effective adolescent programming!  Here are some key ways that YOU can contribute:

·         Get out and VOTE: on a local and national level, elect officials who are concerned with creating a more equal and equitable society both here and globally to enable adolescent leaders and their contribution to the international community

·         SUPPORT organizations that contribute to the development and empowerment of youth in your local and global communities. Remember, they are the long run economic solution (as well as the future creators of the next iPhone!).

·         VISIT the websites of the highlighted organizations linked above to find out more ways that you too, can contribute to #2030Now and their adolescent programming!

 Here’s to our future potential, and the foundation we are committed to building.

 By:  Margaret Strauss - FRJ Apprentice