COVID-19: Young people share views on recovery

How can the world respond, recover and build back better from COVID-19?

To mark the Global Day of Solidarity on Friday 22nd May, our Youth Power Global Meetup brought together young people from around the world to help answer this question.

Over 380 young people registered to join us from more than 30 different countries including Nepal, Afghanistan, Ghana, Indonesia, Ireland, Bangladesh, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and the United Kingdom.

It was an entirely youth-led discussion co-hosted by three members of our Youth Power Panel -Donya Nasser (US), Ines Yabar (Peru/France) and Rosario Garavito (Peru)- with lots of great conversation and amazing ideas shared.

Here’s a snapshot of what was said*:

We need to reduce the rural/urban education gap and continue to have more open discussions around mental health.

Bintang, Indonesia

Its important to first understand what has brought us to this situation. It is a result of the world we have built – our health has not been put first, our environment has not been first. Of course this has to be balanced with the need for food and resources, but in order to recover we need a more resilient natural world. We must do the right thing and build back respecting nature and wildlife.

Jay, Zambia

Taking meaningful action on the SDGs must happen now. Young people must connect with older generations, we must work inter-generationally. We must take individual responsibility but also be open to collaborative efforts, between regions, countries and generations.

Maxine, Zimbabwe

Even before this pandemic there was a huge number of unemployed youth. COVID19 has forced us to explore new areas, which is no bad thing. We should look more at employment digitally. The question is how do we empower young people to take up digital skills? Digital training must be at the forefront of the agenda if we want to build back better.

Emmanuel, Ghana

We have shown we can take quick, decisive and deep emergency action. We need to do so now on climate change. When required to make sacrifices we do. The government can in the future expect more from its citizens.

Emma, UK

In Sierra Leone, we face a shadow pandemic caused by lock-down called the hunger pandemic. People are dying of hunger. After COVID19 we must all come together to alleviate hunger.

Alfred, Sierra Leone

In Ireland, we are bouncing back, but we need a coalition and a stable government to be able to build back better. We need a living wage, so people are encouraged to stay in Ireland and build up our economy.

Lorna, Ireland

If you are interested in following up on any of these insights please:

Find out what we learnt at other meetups: