For mutual love between society and me: Young reporters call for intergenerational solidarity
International Youth Day is being celebrated in the spirit of partnership across generations
PODGORICA, 12 August 2022. Young people need the wisdom of older generations in order to build a happier, more equitable and prosperous society – this is the message of UNICEF young reporters and their senior interlocutors on the occasion of International Youth Day. The United Nations (UN) is celebrating 12 August this year by focusing on intergenerational solidarity and partnership.
On the occasion of this major global day, UNICEF young reporter Vuk Živković said that young and old have to talk and do things together.
“Both generations are facing many age-related barriers. If we join forces and fight for each other, perhaps there will be fewer such barriers.”
His 80-year-old grandmother, Zlatana Živković has a message for her younger self, when she was Vuk’s age – to be bolder. “I had more freedom, but fewer opportunities for education,” she noted, adding that it is important for young people to build a variety of skills.
Young reporter Lana Jovanović believes that young and old alike should harbour no prejudices against each other, but rather be mutually supportive.
“The young are often perceived as lazy, uninterested, passive – which is an overgeneralization. Likewise, our grandparents are often passed over, seen as conservative or helpless, which is also a stereotype.”
Seventy-year-old Ljubica Ljubojević echoes this: “The ingrained belief is that young people are thoughtless and uncommitted. I don’t think that’s the case,” she stressed.
UNICEF reporters interviewed several of their older fellow citizens, who, although unwilling to reveal their identities, had strong messages for the young, and society at large.
Seventy-six-year-old Miraš had a short message for young people “to learn and work, and whatever else”, while 79-year-old Radmila wished for them to “have more hope and drive”. This was wisely summed up by 75-year-old Danica, talking about all generations: “I want society to love me, and me to love society.”
On the occasion of this year’s International Youth Day, the UN is calling for partnership between people of all ages to tackle global issues. In that spirit, UNICEF young reporter Mina Bošković is inviting her peers to be more open to the words of advice offered by their elders.
“Let us enrich our view of the world by embracing the experience of those who have already been where we are right now.”