- Transforming youth potential
A review by UNICEF found that approaches relying on life-skills have been effective in educating youth about health related issues such as alcohol, tobacco and other drug use; nutrition; pregnancy prevention; and preventing HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Life-skills education can also be effective in preventing school dropout and violence among young people. About 11.8 million young people today are living with HIV/AIDS, 7.3 million of those infected are young women. Youths amount to one third of the total global population living with HIV/AIDs. On average, 6000 young people become infected with HIV every day . About 75% of all young people living with HIV/AIDS reside in Sub-Saharan Africa, 14% in Asia. The main factor that leads to young people contracting HIV/AIDS is involvement in risky sexual behavior. Many young people are sexually active and abuse drugs leading to their vulnerability. HIV/AIDS is a real global issue and concern that defies the citizenship. All young people including children need the skill of self control and critical thinking to avoid falling victim to negative peer pressure. Life-skills education can help empower young girls with skills they need to complete their schooling. Everyday in Africa 20,000 girls under the age of 18 give birth and drop out of school. This amounts to 7.3 million births a year. When a girl becomes pregnant, her life can change drastically. Her education may end and her job prospects diminish. Girls at this age become more vulnerable to poverty and exclusion and her health often suffers. Life-skills education can also lay the foundation for skills demanded in today’s job market. The high youth unemployment rate can and will drastically reduce if young people are taught creativity and problem solving life-skills to enable them jumpstart innovative projects to help. Global Steps helps connect young people with real global issues faced by their local and the global communities. Young people today are shaping a new era of global citizenship, but they continue to face challenges and risks that many times sidetrack them from their life goals. Drug abuse is also on the rise among young people. Many youths drop out of school, join bad groups and gangs as a result of drugs and substance abuse. To be active global citizens, young people need to stay safe from all these myriad of risks. The main goal of the life-skills approach is therefore to enhance young people’s ability to take responsibility for making healthier choices, resisting negative pressures, and avoiding risky behaviors. We believe young people are essential in bringing the desired changes in our community and in the world, a comprehensive life-skills program and empowerment is what they need.
Essential Life-skills for youths includes:
1) Self esteem
2) Self awareness.
4) Coping with emotions.
5) Friendship formation and maintenance.
6) Coping with stress and emotions.
8) Effective communication.
9) Negotiation skills.
10) Non-Violent conflict resolution.
11 Decision making.
12) Problem solving.
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