This interesting report from UNICEF is a reminder of how lucky we are in so many ways to live in a country that has a good vaccine programme, strong public health systems and an economy that is able to bounce back from the pandemic. It also serves as a reminder of the fact that global issues are also very relevant locally.
One interesting aspect for us is the likelihood of climate change having an increasing impact on children's health and wellbeing. As a locally-focused charity, we are primarily concerned with more immediate challenges such as the need for affordable food and housing as well as the importance of social connection and reducing inequality in education. However, all these issues will increasingly be affected by climate change to some degree. There is a challenge for us in how we ensure that we are able to support the focus on macro global issues while also responding to more immediate local needs.
Related to this is the likely increase in youth activism highlighted in the report although this does demand a balancing act for community foundations: we want to support local communities and people to have a say and have an influence on local (and global) issues but we cannot be political in how we work and act. Finding ways in which we can ensure communities are resilient and able to have a voice is important to do. If we can support children and young people to be active and engaged and to have greater influence then that should also help with ensuring climate change is kept high on our collective agenda.
the role of young people as a formidable force in driving change in attitudes, behaviours and policy concerning climate is likely to grow and become increasingly sophisticated