Remembered that last month, Roger and I went to the presentation of the United Nation World Youth Report 2007. After attending the meeting , we thought it would be great to invite Lutheran youths in different regions to give their feedback on that. Thanks a lot for their support, the idea bears its first fruit.
Titled ‘ASIAN YOUTH in the Context of rapid GLOBALIZATION’, the first chapter of UN World Youth Report highlighted various challenges facing Asian Youth in the era of globalization. We focused on asking the challenges facing the Asian youths in the labour market and how churches could be more relevant to the unemployment issue.
I think no one would disagree that young Asians are better prepared than ever before to enter the labour force, but many are unable to find a job. One of the explanations is, nowadays we are not only competing with the youths in our own country, but also our counterparts around the world.
We ask the youth liaisons to give us some clues on ‘what would youth usally do when they are unemployed in your home context?’
‘Go abroad!!!’, Rachel Basalong, youth liaisons from Lutheran Church in the Philippines, pointed out frankly. She also shared a very thoughtful conversation with her friend at one point:
‘This situation (going aboard to pursue a job not related to one’s own profession) really hit me when a friend of mine was preparing to go abroad and I jokingly asked if he could look for a job for me there. He looked at me disdainfully and said, ‘I would not go if I had a job here. You should be thankful you have (your job at home).’
The report revealed a fact about how desperate youth could be in searching a job – in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Youths are 5 times more likely than older workers to be unemployed. Employers discriminate young workers for various reasons like lack of experience needed in the workplace.
But the question is, how could young people gain experience if they are not given a chance? Many unemployed youths end up resort to migration to other countries.
Not mentioning the uncertainties and potential dangers as an alien in a foreign country, lack of family’s physical and emotional support is already a hardship to overcome.
In the context of globalization, many young people desperately looking for a job at home but never got one, leaving their family and friends, heading to a foreign country to be an alien labour, without knowing when to go home…… ‘I would not go if I had a job here. You should be thankful you have…..’
(1 of 4) To be continued In the next blog posts, youth liaisons from Indonesia, the Philippines and Hong Kong will share their situations and some thoughts of how churches could accompany youth to deal with the unemployment issue. UN World Youth Report 2007, Visit: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unyin/wyr07.htm Related Blog post: http://lwfyouth.org/2008/04/04/a-generation-of-volunteers-un-world-youth-report-presented/