“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future” Franklin D. Roosevelt

international youth dayHappy International Youth Day. The 2013 theme is “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward .”

My daughter is one of the many young people who make up a significant share of the global number of international migrants. With easy access to opportunities that are open online, it is inevitable that one of them chose to study and work in a foreign land. While I am aware that opportunities may be invaluable, I worry about her safety. Young migrants face risks that may lead to unfavorable situations including discrimination and exploitation. Nothing is lost when our children leave. When they return home, these young migrants may apply their skills and knowledge to enhance development in their respective countries.

“The 2013 observance of International Youth Day will raise awareness of the opportunities and risks associated with youth migration, share knowledge and information stemming from recent research and analysis on this topic, and engage young people in discussions on their migration experiences.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon say it is ” important to emphasize the positive contribution young migrants make to societies of origin, transit and destination – economically and by enriching the social and cultural fabric. Most work hard to earn a living and improve their circumstances. The remittances they send to support families in their home countries are a major contributor to economies worldwide.” The 2013 World Youth Report (WYR) on Youth Migration and Development will be launched today. The Report will offer a multidimensional perspective of the life experiences of youth migrants, as well as some insights on the role of youth participation in migration-development policymaking and practice.


The call by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is that stakeholders like the tertiary education sector should do their bit to promote the rights of all young migrants and to maximize the development potential of youth migration.

The youth should be be aware about their rights while academic institutions should maximize the development potential of youth migration.

““Education will need to play a significant role in finding the answers.” How we educate our communities “to participate effectively in the economies of the 21st century and at the same time educate an increasingly diverse society to feel some kind of cultural identity will surely be a hallmark of educational performance”.

Parents can start in their own homes.

One of your children may one day go abroad to study or work. It is important to impart resiliency , the ability to cope and adapt to change. Resiliency is the number one skill they need to learn. Being resilient allows children and youth to overcome difficulties in their lives. What can we do to help prepare our children for the road ahead? I wrote more about it Resiliency is a no. 1 Life skill where I talk about powerful thinking tools to equip them to face adversity:

1.Tell them there is always a choice
2. Teach gratitude
3. Teach them to master a skill

Parents play a significant role in the development of their children. The hand that rocks the cradle may not rule the world, but it certainly makes it a better place, at least for our children. They will be our future leaders one day.