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Generation of Change: Young People and Culture
The seven stories in this report show the challenges facing young people growing up in the first decade of the 21st century. The stories show Grita, Tsehey, Daniel, Kim, Jiigee, Seif, and Leire in their daily lives, each working to enjoy and transform their own cultural surroundings. Culturally sensitive approaches to development help young people to be more effective in changing the harmful elements of culture, while celebrating the positive aspects that enrich their lives.

The cultural experience of young people is a hybrid of many different elements. Because young people are not limited by their parents' experiences and memories, they are generally flexible and dynamic. They have the potential to become agents of change.

The complex streams of culture have intense effects on young people, leading them to challenge gender stereotypes in sport; to become champions of other young people in their passage to adulthood; to adapt international music to the realities of local life; to bring new communication technologies to one of the most isolated regions on earth; to rise to the top echelons of government; to live in peace in a land at war; to escape child marriage and claim the right to choices in life. By doing all these, and more, young people are changing themselves and their cultures.

Development programmes should support young people such as these to negotiate a place in their society. Young people need the skills to embrace their local culture: to change what hurts them, such as harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation or child marriage; and support what helps, like better information and services for their sexual and reproductive health, and the prevention of violence against women.

Steeped in long tradition, older generations may resist these changes. Programmes need to open a space for dialogue between generations. Their approach should spring from deep sympathy with the culture, respect for its ways and knowledge of its history, power relations, politics and economics. Culturally sensitive approaches will equip development programmes to help make human rights and gender equality a reality in all societies, and young people their most visible champions.

 

Endnotes

INTRODUCTION
1 Margulis, M y otros. 2003. Juventud, Cultura, Sexualidad. La Dimension Cultural and la Afectividad y la Sexualidad de los Jovenes de Buenos Aires. Edutorial Biblos. Buenos Aires. P13-14.
2 http://esa.un.org/unpp. Accessed 23 September 2008.
3 Lloyd, Cynthia B. ed 2005. Growing Up Global. The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries. National Research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies – The National Academies Press. Washington, D.C. p 49.
4 Lloyd, Cynthia B. ed 2005. Growing Up Global. The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries. National Research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies – The National Academies Press. Washington, D.C. p 50.


GRITA
1 Letting girls play: Using sport to create safe spaces and build social assets – Promoting healthy, safe and productive transitions to adulthood. Brief No. 1, May 2005 Population Council
2 WHO 2003 Health and Development through Physical Activity and Sport. Geneva: World Health Organization.
3 United Nations Resolution 58/5 "Sport as a means to promote education, health, development and peace"
4 Lloyd, Cynthia B. ed 2005. Growing Up Global. The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries. National research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies – The National Academies Press. Washington, D.C. p. 386
5 Lloyd, Cynthia B. ed 2005. Growing Up Global. The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries. National research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies – The National Academies Press. Washington, D.C. p. 388-389
6 http://www.rho.org/html/adol_progexamples.htm?#kenya-mathare. Accessed 10 August 2008
7 Letting girls play: Using sport to create safe spaces and build social assets – Promoting healthy, safe and productive transitions to adulthood. Brief No. 1, May 2005 Population Council


DANIEL
1 http://www.mtvnetworks.co.uk/wellbeingstudy. Accessed 1 October 2008.
2 Lloyd, Cynthia B. ed 2005. Growing Up Global. The Changing Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries. National research Council and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies – The National Academies Press. Washington, D.C. p. 19
3 Development and the Next Generation. 2007. World Development Report. The World Bank, Washington DC. P. 167
4 http://www.unfpa.org/upload/lib_pub_file/426_filename_CultureMatters_2004.pdf. Accessed 1 October 2008.
5 http://www.unfpa.org/news/news.cfm?ID=947. Accessed 1 October 2008.


TSEHAY
1 www.popcouncil.org/ta/mar.html. Accessed 24 September 2008 www.icrw.org/docs/tooyoungtowed_1003.pdf. Accessed 24 September 2008.


JIIGEE
1 Keraman and Kenny, 2007 in Halewood and Kenny, 2007 "Young People and ICTs in Developing Countries" July 2007. Accessed 9 August 2008 http://charleskenny.blogs.com/weblog/2007/07/young-people-an.html. Accessed 1 October 2008.
2 Halewood and Kenny, 2007 "Young People and ICTs in Developing Countries" July 2007. Accessed 9 August 2008. http://charleskenny.blogs.com/weblog/2007/07/young-people-an.html. Accessed 1 October 2008.
3 World Bank, 2006 : World Development Report 2007 p. 32
4 Halewood and Kenny, 2007 "Young People and ICTs in Developing Countries" July 2007. Accessed 9 August 2008. http://charleskenny.blogs.com/weblog/2007/07/young-people-an.html. Accessed 1 October 2008.
5 World Bank, 2006 : World Development Report 2007 p. 203
6 World Bank, 2006 : World Development Report 2007 p. 203
7 United Nations, 2005 World Youth Report 2005: Young People Today and in 2015. p. 4
8 United Nations, 2005 World Youth Report 2005: Young People Today and in 2015. P. 4
9 United Nations, 2007, World Youth Report 2007: Young People Transition to Adulthood: Progress and Challenges p xvii
10 United Nations, 2005 World Youth Report 2005: Young People Today and in 2015. p. 13
11 Jensen, 2007 in Charles Kenny, 2008 ICT: Promises, Opportunities and Dangers for the Rural Future (February 19, 2008) to be presented for the Rural Futures conference in Plymouth, UK in March 2008. Accessed 9 August 2008: http://charleskenny.blogs.com/weblog/2008/02/ict-promises-op.html. Accessed 1 October 2008.


KIM
1 United Nations, 2005 World Youth Report 2005: Young People Today and in 2015. p. 81
2 United Nations, 2005 World Youth Report 2005: Young People Today and in 2015. p. 81
3 United Nations, 2005 World Youth Report 2005: Young People Today and in 2015. p. 81-82
4 United Nations, 2005 World Youth Report 2005: Young People Today and in 2015. p. 95
5 United Nations, 2005 World Youth Report 2005: Young People Today and in 2015. p. 82-85
6 United Nations, 2005 World Youth Report 2005: Young People Today and in 2015. p. 85
7 United Nations, 2005 World Youth Report 2005: Young People Today and in 2015. p. 87-88
8 United Nations, 2005 World Youth Report 2005: Young People Today and in 2015. p. 98. Accessed 1 October 2008.


SEIF
1 http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTDEC/EXTRESEARCH/EXTWDRS/EXTWDR2007/
0,,menuPK:1489865~pagePK:64167702~piPK:64167676~theSitePK:1489834,00.html
. Accessed 1 October 2008.
2 http://www.peacestudiesjournal.org.uk/docs/PCD%20ISSUE%2011%20ARTICLE-The%20Unexplored%20Power%20and%20Potential%20of%20Youth%20as%20Peace-Builders_Celina%20Del%20Felice%20and%20Andria%20Wisler.pdf. Accessed 1 October 2008.
3 UNDP-UN. Arab Youth Strategizing for the Millennium Development Goals. New York, 2006.
4 http://www.un.org/children/conflict/english/machel10.htlm. Accessed 1 October 2008.
5 http://www.un.org/children/conflict/english/machel10.htlm. Accessed 1 October 2008.
6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Network_of_Young_Peacebuilders_(UNOY). Accessed 1 October 2008.
7 http://groups.takingitglobal.org/NGPC. Accessed 1 October 2008.
8 http://unesco.takingitglobal.org/themes2005.en.html?theme=together. Accessed 1 October 2008.


LEIRE
1 http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm Article 12. Accessed 23 September 2008.
2 Development and the Next Generation. 2007. World Development Report. The World Bank, Washington DC. P 167
3 Development and the Next Generation. 2007. World Development Report. The World Bank, Washington DC. P 167
4 Development and the Next Generation. 2007. World Development Report. The World Bank, Washington DC.