Young, gifted and held back

The millennial generation

The world’s young are an oppressed minority. Unleash them
The Economist>

IN THE world of “The Hunger Games” youngsters are forced to fight to the death for the amusement of their white-haired rulers. Today’s teen fiction is relentlessly dystopian, but the gap between fantasy and reality is often narrower than you might think. The older generation may not resort to outright murder but, as our special report this week on millennials describes (see article), in important ways they hold their juniors down.

Roughly a quarter of the world’s people—some 1.8 billion—have turned 15 but not yet reached 30. In many ways, they are the luckiest group of young adults ever to have existed. They are richer than any previous generation, and live in a world without smallpox or Mao Zedong. They are the best-educated generation ever—Haitians today spend longer in school than Italians did in 1960. Thanks to all that extra learning and to better nutrition, they are also more intelligent than their elders. If they are female or gay, they enjoy greater freedom in more countries than their predecessors would have thought possible. And they can look forward to improvements in technology that will, say, enable many of them to live well past 100. So what, exactly, are they complaining about?

These children that you spit on

Plenty. Just as, for the first time in history, the world’s youngsters form a common culture, so they also share the same youthful grievances. Around the world, young people gripe that it is too hard to find a job and a place to live, and that the path to adulthood has grown longer and more complicated.

Many of their woes can be blamed on policies favouring the old over the young. Consider employment. In many countries, labour laws require firms to offer copious benefits and make it hard to lay workers off. That suits those with jobs, who tend to be older, but it makes firms reluctant to hire new staff. The losers are the young. In most regions they are at least twice as likely as their elders to be unemployed. The early years of any career are the worst time to be idle, because these are when the work habits of a lifetime become ingrained. Those unemployed in their 20s typically still feel the “scarring” effects of lower income, as well as unhappiness, in their 50s.

Housing, too, is often rigged against the young. Homeowners dominate the bodies that decide whether new houses may be built. They often say no, so as not to spoil the view and reduce the value of their own property. Over-regulation has doubled the cost of a typical home in Britain. Its effects are even worse in many of the big cities around the world where young people most want to live. Rents and home prices in such places have far outpaced incomes. The youngsters of Kuala Lumpur are known as the “homeless generation”. Young American women are more likely to live with their parents or other relatives than at any time since the second world war.

Young people are often footloose. With the whole world to explore and nothing to tie them down, they move around more often than their elders. This makes them more productive, especially if they migrate from a poor country to a rich one. By one estimate, global GDP would double if people could move about freely. That is politically impossible—indeed, the mood in rich countries is turning against immigration. But it is striking that so many governments discourage not only cross-border migration but also the domestic sort. China’s hukou system treats rural folk who move to cities as second-class citizens. India makes it hard for those who move from one state to another to obtain public services. A UN study found that 80% of countries had policies to reduce rural-urban migration, although much of human progress has come from people putting down their hoes and finding better jobs in the big smoke. All these barriers to free movement especially harm the young, because they most want to move.
The old have always subsidised their juniors. Within families, they still do. But many governments favour the old: an ever greater share of public spending goes on pensions and health care for them. This is partly the natural result of societies ageing, but it is also because the elderly ensure that policies work in their favour. By one calculation, the net flow of resources (public plus private) is now from young to old in at least five countries, including Germany and Hungary. This is unprecedented and unjust—the old are much richer.

The young could do more to stand up for themselves. In America just over a fifth of 18- to 34-year-olds turned out to vote in the latest general election; three-fifths of over 65s did. It is the same in Indonesia and only slightly better in Japan. It is not enough for the young to sign online petitions. If they want governments to listen, they should vote.

However, the old have a part to play, too. The young are an oppressed minority—albeit an unusual one—in the straightforward sense that governments are systematically preventing them from reaching their potential.

That is a cruel waste of talent. Today’s under-30s will one day dominate the labour force. If their skills are not developed, they will be less productive than they could be. Countries such as India that are counting on a demographic dividend from their large populations of young adults will find that it fails to materialise. Rich, ageing societies will find that, unless the youth of today can get a foot on the career ladder, tomorrow’s pensioners will struggle. What is more, oppressing youngsters is dangerous. Countries with lots of jobless, disaffected young men tend to be more violent and unstable, as millions of refugees from the Middle East and Africa can attest.

They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

The remedy is easy to prescribe—and hard to enact. Governments should unleash the young by cutting the red tape that keeps them out of jobs, and curbing the power of property-owners to stop homes from being built. They should scrap restrictions on domestic migration and allow more cross-border movement. They should make education a priority.

It is a lot to expect from political leaders who often seem unequal to the task of even modest reform. But every parent and grandparent has a stake in this, too. If they put their shoulders to the wheel, who knows what they might accomplish.

Advancing a 21st century skills agenda for today’s youth

On World Youth Skills Day, we acknowledge the millions of young people that are falling in between the cracks because of a “skills gap” – a mismatch on the skills that they have acquired and the skills demanded by today’s employers.

One might expect that critical skills for life and work were developed by youth earlier in their adolescence as critical underlying determinants. However, too many young people simply aren’t gaining the required skills and competencies that will enable them to succeed in today’s workplace. And, when young people are sidelined, a whole economy can suffer. Employers routinely report difficulties in getting workers with the right skills as an impediment to their productivity.

Access to quality training and developing skills relevant to the labor market play a key role in finding solutions for youth employment. This is especially vital for those on the lower end of the skills spectrum, whom the Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE) – a multi-stakeholder coalition launched to address the challenges of youth employment – is dedicating itself to supporting in pursuing a strategic skills agenda.

A changing landscape

Across, developing, emerging and more advanced markets alike, the emergence of digital, green, knowledge, and service economies alongside globalized value chains is altering the labor market needs and the future of work. There are a variety of 21st-century skills that are needed in the workplace ranging from leadership to entrepreneurial aptitude. Specific skills are also important in certain circumstances.

For example:

* Behavioral skills are valuable given an increased importance on service delivery that requires regular interaction with customers;
* Flexibility and adaptability have become important as young people are more likely to move between informal and formal sectors, and as a result of the growing trend toward short-term or project-specific employment;
* Computer literacy is becoming vital in low- and middle-income countries as online support jobs are outsourced from higher income countries; and
* Technical vocational skills remain key to success. In fact, in many emerging economies, the demand for higher-skilled labor has never been greater as a result of greater outsourcing and offshoring.

More evidence needed

In our baseline analysis , skills training interventions comprise the largest share of eight youth employment investment categories; 48% of the portfolio. Some models for ensuring that youth possess the required skills include technical or vocational training (in conjunction with academic training), as well as on-the-job training, or apprenticeships. Though a number of programs show promising results, many however have not necessarily been most impactful; in part because they are not effectively aligned with market or employer needs.

One challenge in making skills programs more responsive to market demand, is the dearth of quality and credible data on the needs and gaps. The World Bank’s STEP (Skills Towards Employability and Productivity) initiative, which focuses on determining which skills matter most and which are in short supply, aims to address this. In its context, the survey of potential employees and employers (mostly in low- and middle- income countries) outline detailed assessments of adult competencies and employer needs. There is great opportunity in working and building off the STEP surveys in order to capture where skills gap exist including on which sectors and occupations.

Regardless of industry, however, we know it is important to ensure that employers are closely involved in the training process to ensure that skills being trained are relevant to the labor market. We need to understand and collect evidence on the right incentives or best mix of tools in engaging and maximizing investment from the private sector.

As we addressed the fluid nature of skills and competencies required to succeed in the 21st century economy – one that’s shaped by globalization, technology, and rapid urbanization — we need further research and evaluation to determine the best pedagogies.We are, for example, still learning how arts, service learning and sports programs can complement, or can be an alternative to class-based instructional delivery approaches.

We see the importance of standards and harmonization, especially as youth are increasingly on the move and education or training becomes more modular or diffused across a wider variety of institutions and providers. But, questions remain in how to measure, certify and validate competencies. Similarly, we need to better explore how youth can signal their skills and capacities in a way that will be recognized by employers.

Raising the bar

While there is still a need to understand the most effective interventions, the evidence thus far points to programs being most successful when they combine skills training with internships, on the job experience, and capital or other support for self-employment and entrepreneurship. By working with our partners, S4YE’s focus on closing this gap through targeted, demand-oriented and evidence-driven labor market interventions will be key.

Follow the World Bank Group Jobs team on Twitter @wbg_jobs and Solutions for Youth Employment @s4ye_coalition

Original article>

Humanitarian crises are on the rise. By 2030, this is how we’ll respond

Humanitarian crises are happening ever more frequently and growing in scale, while technological advances have the power to transform aid coordination. We spoke to Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and co-chair of the Global Future Council on the Humanitarian System, who argues that humanitarian organisations need to work together with a variety of actors to tackle these escalating challenges.

Why is it so important to discuss and try and shape the future of the humanitarian system?

Much of the framework of the present humanitarian system was created in the sixties and seventies to cope with a certain type of humanitarian crisis. What has become evident is that with natural disasters happening more frequently and being more impactful because of climate change, and with violence and conflict spreading and causing instability, fragility and mass displacement of people, this humanitarian system has difficulty coping with the new dynamics. So we are confronted with an important gap between the needs of people and the ability to ensure humanitarian assistance and protection for those people.

A second issue of concern is that conflicts, humanitarian challenges and natural disasters settle in as long-term challenges, which the present system is not fully equipped to deal with. The recent humanitarian crises – be it Ebola, be it the displacement of people from conflicts in the Middle East and Africa – have caused a lot of systemic problems: education systems, health systems, water systems, sanitation systems, housing systems, have been considerably weakened.

For all these reasons, it is important that we start to think how can we build upon the present system but remodel it in such a way that it has an ability to cope with the needs resulting from conflict and natural disaster.

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PTPI Kiev – English Language competition

PEOPLE TO PEOPLE KYIV STUDENT CHAPTER WELCOMES the representatives of the EUROPEAN STUDENT CHAPTERS to participate in the Final Competition of the Effective Communication Intellectual Games 2016 “English as the Language of International Organizations

WHAT IS ECIG?

Effective Communication Intellectual Games are the range of contests and events organised by IATEFL Ukraine, accredited organization which more than 22 years  links , develops and supports ELT professionals in Ukraine, College of Economics ,IT Technologies KROK University, by the team of PTPI Kyiv Student Chapter, Travel and Study Consulting.

The ECIG is an opportunity for teams of gifted students from schools with advanced English language programmes to compete against like-minded students from different countries and cultures: Students will be required to explore contemporary global issues and to make presentations, debate and perform on themes such as the , globalisation and sustainable development.

WHY PARTICIPATE?

To spend 4 exciting days in Kyiv and celebrate 10 years of PTPI in Ukraine! Compete and win not only great prizes from sponsors but develop team work skills and leadership qualities to  become more worldly, mature, independent young people. to gain confidence and self-esteem  and  make lifelong friendships with the students from the other countries. You will visit one of the most interesting and ancient cities in Europe, Kyiv! ,take part in the opening ceremony of Kyiv’s St .Nicholas town and celebrate this holyday in the centre of the city , make wishes and get presents! Extraordinary excursions and lots of fun!

Draft programme :

18 December 2016

Arrival, meeting with Kyiv PTPI Students Chapter

“Getting to Know Tour”( around the city centre)

International Competition .

Final events 19-20 December, 2016

Opening ceremony,

  1. Key-note presentation and video clips contest (guide and instructions are sent after registration)
  2. Open space informational zone. Interviewing of peacemakers who represent the peace makers organizations in Ukraine (UNICEF, UNO, Amnesty International, Peace Corp, PTPI?)
  3. Team contest.
  4. Mystery Challenge

5. “English Unites People “Flash mob”

Final (3 national teams + international  PTPI ones ) Prizes, awards, concert and lots of interesting events)

21.12.2016

Winter Fairy Tale events in Kyiv.

22.12.2016 departure (hugs and kisses).

Participation and Eligibility

Select up to 5 of your most gifted students to form your school team.
Students must be between 12-18 years old
Register you team by 10 November 2016 .receive your task,
complete it and send it by 10 of December 2016  to the given

ecig2016@ukr.net

Cost of programme: 200 euro, covers participation fee, accommodation, food ,excursions and events.

Welcome to Ukraine!

http://ukraineig.com.ua/

Address your questions to Ganna Budivska (Facebook)

Email  hanna.budivska@gmail.com

Tel: + 38 0977788538

Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population in July 2015 was 2,887,974[1] (though higher estimated numbers have been cited in the press),[8] making Kiev the 7th most populous city in Europe.[citation needed]

Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational, and cultural centre of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions and world-famous historical landmarks. The city has an extensive infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport, including the Kiev Metro.

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Spreading the load through volunteers

Chalks Corriette, Belgium

I once read, or was it heard, a great statement that I can relate to as it connects to how I feel about volunteering. We are not asking you to think less of yourself, but to think of yourself less.

Modern life does present us with many challenges; getting things done, working, planning for our future, taking care of family, relationships, Financial matters, dealing with stuff!

In which case it is easy to see why people may not feel they have time to volunteer. But volunteering in our community brings many benefits to ourselves and to our community. For example, understanding community needs, helps us foster empathy, can connect us with resources we did not know about, and brings us into contact with people we may never have met. Thus, Community service and volunteerism are an investment in our community, the people that live in it, and a positive contribution to improving things.

There are other benefits to volunteering. For example, focusing on someone other than yourself reminds us that we are all vulnerable. We never know what life might have in store for us right around the corner. When we contribute to our community we act as role models for others and trust that they too will engage. The more people that engage the better the outcome. The better the outcome the nicer a community we will all live in.

Volunteering does play an important role in providing valuable community services that are not covered by local government spending. Not because the government does not want to spend the money, as we know these days’ money is tight and people are doing their best to provide services in complex circumstances. Anything we can do to allow local government to focus on the most vulnerable, is a welcome additional contribution from us.

During my volunteer hours I very much enjoy the people from diverse backgrounds that I meet. I have been able to see parts of Belgium I would never have thought to look at, and I have met many more locals them would have been possible in general day-to-day life. Volunteering can unite people from diverse backgrounds and focus them towards a common goal.

There is always value in everything that we do as volunteers. The non-financial values are harder to put your finger on (we are working on this). I understand that the financial value of a volunteer’s time is close to €12 per hour. If only we could raise sufficient finances to actually pay our volunteers €12 an hour – life would be very different.

So how can you get involved? There is always so much to do and this does not mean that you have to join a current project. If you have an idea that would benefit a community do develop this further. There may also be a local partner with whom you can work to move things along faster. The local partner may have already laid down a base that you can build on and being local they can provide the sustainability that is often very important.

People like to volunteer for things that they can relate to. Please also consider important social or community problems that may not be your first choice. All opportunities are worth considering as your impact is the most important thing.

Here are some ideas for volunteering:
• Independent living support assistant for the elderly
• Visiting someone who is lonely or needs help with shopping
• Taking someone out for a walk, tea or coffee
• Homework support for non-native speakers
• Supporting youth groups or scouting
• Preparing food for the homeless or an elderly person at their home
• Helping your community look better
• Assisting with boards or committees
• Leading a fund development activity; bake sale, car boot sale, book sale
• Offering your skills; project management, training management, communications
• Supporting your local after-school club or commune CPAS/OCMW Office
• Answering helpline calls
• Gathering items and delivering them for an agreed social project

The truth is when it comes to communities there is always something that can be done. It can be daunting finding the right place to start or finding the right thing to do. Some volunteers do tell me they do not feel appreciated – this comes with the territory I’m afraid and if praise is what you seek, then volunteering may not be for you. Time is always an important factor. With everyone eternally busy dealing with stuff, finding that odd hour to help, may seem a stretch too far.

As long as people make some effort to volunteer things do get done. These days I mostly encounter the same few amazing souls who will put their hand up to help and find a way to make the time. If we could encourage more people to volunteer in the local community, the load would be spread and much more would get done. Our community belongs to us all not to just a few people – the responsibility for our community belongs to us all.

I am not asking you to think less of yourself or your family and work, I am asking you to think of yourself less, and your community a little more.

Should you need advice or guidance on how to get involved, please do contact me. It would be my pleasure to support you in any way that I can.

Chalks Corriette
chalks@ptpi.eu
+32.4787.482023

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Doing what we can

Doing something is better than doing nothing at all – every little bit helps, as the saying goes.

It is amazing how several small acts of kindness can deliver huge benefits to communities. One person might choose to donate €1 each month. Another individual will support a youth project, such as scouting, dedicating time each month. People that like to run will raise money for a great cause as they participate in their local 20K or Marathon. There are groups of families that undertake community projects together. This helps build a community, friendships and provides an opportunity for a family to deliver a community service together.

Please do something! It is time to engage and not simply say “I just don’t know how to get started”. Find a local cause that you can connect with. Are you passionate about the environment, the elderly, children with problems, animal welfare, the state of our buildings, litter on the streets, weeds growing everywhere, graffiti in the wrong places, food waste, composting, the circular economy, the arts, or is your passion sport or education. Whatever it is, other people will feel the same way. Connecting with like-minded people ensures that there is a bond and an energy to build on.

There is so much to be done everywhere you look. There are so many organizations, associations and opportunities that would benefit from some help. It is not always about money, although money does help to pay for some much-needed resources. And, if collecting funds or making a financial donation works best for you – that is a very welcome something.

If you’re stuck for ideas about what you can do, please do connect and we will do our very best to guide you. PTPI is making every effort to be a connecting NGO for the many opportunities to contribute, and the many needs that communities have. Just remember doing what we can, is preferable to doing nothing at all. Our community will be better off when we are all doing what we can.

Chalks Corriette
PTPI Europe
chalks@ptpi.eu
0478.482023

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Community is very important

Written by: Chalks Corriette, European President, Brussels, Belgium

This short summary is my way of sharing with you my enthusiasm for strong communities. I don’t think its an exaggeration when I say there is nothing more important to any of us, than the communities that we are part of. I recently listened to a podcast where a lady told the interviewer that not being lonely meant having people around her to do nothing with. She felt that being connected to her many communities was key to her staying sane. For many people, it is not that they need to be occupied and out networking all of the time. The simple act of being with family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances or in public places where there are people to speak to, is good enough. This is what I mean by community.

It is strange that we live at a time when we have the ability to connect to everyone, yet the instances of loneliness are going up, not down. Why is that? Some say it is because life is faster and more expensive than in the past. Others may cite the fact that we have become more materialistic and that our quest for more and better everything is focused on stuff, and excludes human contact. What it comes down to, is that we all have our opinions. But people of science and academia have not found better solutions to what seems to be a growing human need to live within a strong community.

Communities collaborate, and support each and every person and the things that are important to that community. There is a sense of sharing burdens, celebrating successes, caring for the whole community unconditionally, leading to a bond that can weather all storms.

How can we help our community? You know that I am about to use the V word, as this is one way that makes a big difference. Yes, volunteering makes a significant contribution to all communities. You can volunteer to keep your street free of litter, contribute some time to visit or help elderly people on your street or living nearby, support your local school’s projects, lead a sewing bee or book club, host a coffee morning or tea afternoon, do things with your local scouting or youth group, help at your commune by collecting goods for the thrift shop or food bank, start a walking group or local gardening gathering – there are so many things that can be done. You can also include your family in doing things together with the community.

What I see is very interesting. Far from many people doing small things together to share the community spirit, I bump into the same 20 or 30 people leading all projects, volunteering where they are most needed, supporting initiatives where they live and also at the place they work. It seems that everyone wants to be connected to a thriving and fantastic community, and they assume that it will magically happen. I was once told that strong communities are an elusive thing that we all strive for, without knowing what it means anymore, and we no longer seem to possess the desire to make it a reality.

Do what you can, volunteer, contribute to your community. Life is delightful when people feel that they are not alone, that they can rely on their neighbours and that they can smile with everyone in their community.

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Nobody Wants to Give Money Away

People to People International (PTPI) Europe like many other successful non-profits, has to continually evaluate all roadblocks non-profits face when looking to increase the number of successful projects that we deliver. During a meeting with the Hartsook Foundation, we were given a book by Bob Hartsook entitled – Nobody Wants to Give Money Away!

A key point of the book is to remind non-profits that whilst people will always guard their money, they are happy to invest in making positive changes in the lives of others.

So although many non-profits feel doomed to live hand-to-mouth, we do have to learn that to become a thriving entity means analyzing the issues we encounter, when trying to get that important yes from individual donors, companies, or foundations.

One question PTPI is often asked is; does your organization do good, important, vital work? We have evidence that what we deliver is indeed important to the many people and communities that we support, that we make an important contribution to their lives and their community, and that in the long-term economic development was supported. And yet, unlike a for-profit business, we cannot provide our investors with a financial return on their investment.

What type of projects do we spend our money on?

At PTPI, we are very aware that we must be accountable for how donations and funding is spent. We make every effort at limiting administration costs and balance the need to attract the right staff and volunteers, examine the materials we purchase against the level of expected impact at community level, and our need to look for new funding following our successes. Below, we provide a summary of a few projects that have been completed in the past 12 to 18 months.

• European conference: each year we bring together members of our European and International network. This four-day annual event, provides the chance to learn about local initiatives from our 65 chapters, is an opportunity to provide new skills training, host our awards ceremony, look forward to the year ahead and complete all legal and democratic procedures according to our Bylaws.
• Youth Program (YP): this takes the form of either a regional week long training project, focused on a subject that is significant to Europe, such as citizenship or innovation, and is often a subject requested and part funded by the EU. YP projects can also be developed and run in another region, such as the Americas. This provides a platform for European PTPI youth to collaborate and learn from other youth from other cultures. Or, we run YP projects with a local chapter, for example in Albania. This allows our central team to support a local chapter and other chapters near by, with a specific learning problem or leadership development need. Scholarships are offered to many young people that participate in our YP projects and activities.
• Humanitarian initiatives: Almost every country in the PTPI global network supports a range of charitable projects. These can relate to cleaning up the local environment, caring for the homeless or elderly, sponsoring promising young people in an orphanage to further their education through to college and university, improving working facilities for small charities and local NGO’s and hosting debating groups to give remote communities an opportunity to understand democracy and how to participate and benefit from it.
• Program and office administration: Without meticulous planning, monitoring, training, and coordination with other PTPI regions, and our head office in the US, the PTPI machine would be inefficient and waste resource. Equally, we have to meet required legal reporting needs at a regional and local level, and provide reports and information into the global monitoring, communications and reporting structure.

PTPI Europe does deliver services and support that go a long way to making positive changes in the lives of others. We understand that people do not want to give money away and we trust that given our track record over the past 50 years, we have proven our commitment to the people and communities of which we are an integral part.

Through PTPI, individuals around the globe are coming together to break down barriers and celebrate diversity. As a global network of individuals pursuing knowledge and understanding of other cultures, we cultivate connections that make an impact on local and international levels.

Your generosity touches all areas of our programming, and your gift to PTPI sets the foundation for a peaceful future.

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