Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Democracy in Action

It’s hard to change the channel these days without stumbling across the latest polls, commercials or the latest “he said, she said” banter of politics. While it’s easy to take for granted the power of democracy, it’s still a goal that many world citizens still fight and die for today. And for the youth of Children International, it all begins with casting their first ballot.

At Children International, we feel our youth are the rising stars of tomorrow. That's why we concentrate on developing them as leaders and instilling in them the skills they will need to make a difference in their communities. One way we do this is by teaching the power of democracy.

In November, Youth Council elections were held in Cartegena, Colombia. Each of our 18 agencies has a youth council that is comprised of sponsored youth. The council is responsible for determining the direction of youth programs in each of their sponsorship areas. Council members are also nominated and two delegates are democratically elected to attend the International Youth Conference.

By engaging in the democratic process to elect their leaders, and then deciding the direction of their efforts as a team, they learn a great deal about leadership, a commitment to ideals and shared effort. In this way, youth council members become an inspiration. They provide positive role models for younger children and they strive to educate and help others.

To us, these enthusiastic youth are the world best and brightest hope for tomorrow.

Photos by Marelvis Campo, Children International Communication Coordinator in Cartegena, Colombia.

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