Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Background of International Youth Day

The General Assembly on 17 December 1999 in its resolution 54/120, endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

The Assembly recommended that public information activities be organized to support the Day as a way to promote better awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond, adopted by the General Assembly in 1995 (resolution 50/81).

This year’s (2009) International youth day was commemorated on the Wednesday, 12th of August. In line with our mandate as Cosmos Education Kenya, we took it upon ourselves to impact a young generation positively, as this is our core business; to inspire, engage and empower the youth through science education for the development of the world. We therefore chose to spend the subsequent weekend, (15th August) with the beloved Mcedo community.

This years theme was; sustainability: our challenge. Our future. This as explained to Mcedo students is a simple concept that every young member of the planet Earth ought to understand and be a part of. Sustainability does not only refer to maintaining environmental balance and renewal. Sustainability encapsulates three facets of life: the environment, society and the economy. We live our lives in the overlaps and intersections of these facets, and our actions and attitudes help shape them. Their changing shapes in turn affect the way we are able to live our lives. The negative effects of unsustainable behavior are not easily contained. As has been proven by the global crises in food, the economy and the environment, the concept of the global village has gone beyond being a useful analogy to being a hard reality, making clear the need to adopt a global sense of social responsibility.

Cosmos Education Kenya team members introducing themselves

With these things in mind, as the energizers of today and the holders of tomorrow, it is imperative that youth embrace the challenge of sustainability in its fullness as they help pave the way forward through the 21st century and beyond. Youth action, inclusion, and their full participation are key to developing today’s world for the generations of today and tomorrow and central to a sustainable existence.

The commemoration was a very successful day with at least one hundred Mcedo students and a few teachers. There a big team from Cosmos, who divided the students into several groups depending on their classes and age. This was after an overall presentation of DVDs about Climate change and Global sustainability. The students were very receptive and learnt a great deal, judging form the kind of responses and questions they were asking after the presentations.

Rule No. 2 in action : Asking questions!

In the groups, the students were given specific assignments and demonstrations to perform, among them the Green House effect demo, from which they learnt how green house gasses are trapped in Earths atmosphere, and how that results in ultimate heating up, or raising of temperatures on the surface of the Earth.

Ben Kariuki explaining the green house effect to the high school student's

Assignments were also issues, done and submitted with highest scoring students being awarded. This was a very clear motivation for the students.

Later on, after the learning experiences, the students, teachers and Cosmos Education Kenya planted trees and the schools compound to mark their commitment to taking an active role in sustaining our planet. The students took it upon themselves to take care of the seedlings until they grow, as a sign of their commitment.

Peter Kanja with class seven students planting trees at the MCEDO tree nursery

That was a day well spent, change initiated, and a difference made. A difference that, hopefully will trickle down to making the world a better place, and for everyone who took part, in being responsible as an individual, for sustaining our world.

ending the day with a little jig

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