Today is International Youth Day 2016, a day when all of us at Opportunity Child increase our resolve to continue to work towards creating the conditions for all young children in Australia to live happy and productive lives.
The theme for this year’s International Youth Day is ‘The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Production and Consumption’.
This theme is aligned with the UN’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development, and recognises that today’s young children will play a key role in working to eradicate poverty and achieve societal sustainability – meeting the basic needs of communities while safeguarding the needs of future generations.
That approach – to focus on the needs of communities, while also looking at the big picture and safeguarding the needs of future generations, resonates strongly with us at Opportunity Child.
We know that in Australia, one in five children are developmentally vulnerable as they start school each year – and we know this is an issue that demands immediate attention. To address it, we are using a groundbreaking, place-based, collective impact approach to help communities work better together and allow young children living in them to reach their full potential.
Ultimately, our aim is both for communities to work well together and to change the wider system for vulnerable children – and we are gathering evidence to support our approach, so we can do just that.
In the meantime, on this day, let’s all be reminded of the need to focus on giving all Australian children the best start in life they can possibly have. They are our nation’s most precious resource, and they all deserve the opportunity to thrive.