Every year, International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12 to support the Day as a way to promote awareness of the Youth program across the globe. A theme is selected with input from different youth organizations and member of UN Inter-Agency Network in Youth development. I received an event invitation for International Youth Day. Event detail includes the theme of the year 2018 “Safe Spaces for Youth”. I read this term for the first time and quickly just google it to know about it. I was curious to know that what does Safe space mean? Is it something related to infrastructure, peace situation in country or opportunities for youth? There are a lot more problems to discuss for youth then why this theme? I found following definition of Safe Spaces on internet:
“Safe spaces are, where youth have opportunities to freely express themselves, participate in sport and leisure time activities, and participate in decision-making and governance processes, while engaging in mutually respectful and constructive dialogue. It is important when planning these spaces to pay attention to the diverse needs of youth around the world, particularly those vulnerable to marginalization or violence.”
My mind tried to absorb this definition along with snooping thoughts that how it would look or feel? Lately, attending a leadership program, I realized how the Safe Spaces look like….
I would say that this is more about feeling of being in a Safe space which encourage you to excel. All words in the above mentioned definition are feelings and atmosphere which allow Youth to express themselves, participate, inclusion and respecting the diversity, giving space each other to heal and recover in the process, supporting each other for innovation and decision making process. In a Safe space, you can feel vulnerable and empowered simultaneously through learning from people and working together for change.
I would love to involve with people, organizations and social enterprises who wanted to create Safe spaces for youth! I have been there…