Now facing soaring inflation, rising energy bills, and sky-high housing costs, the world seems to be lurching from one global crisis to the next. The strain to make ends meet and secure basic necessities like a warm home, quality education, and decent work is hitting young people hard. Living in Sierra Leone this past year, I saw how a rise in fuel prices left people without any means of transportation, enough food to eat, or hope for the future. I am concerned that despite global efforts to solve these different crises, my children and grandchildren will not inherit a better planet than the one I was born into. These challenges are not only affecting us right now; they will also rob the next generation of the great future they deserve.

Because of these compounding crises, we, as young people around the world, are stepping up as leaders and mobilizing with fierce urgency to change our current trajectory. From leading rallies in the streets to advocating for innovative solutions in formal decision-making spaces, our generation is taking the lead.

However, we will not be able to change the world alone. We know that to truly build a livable future for people and planet, people of all sectors, countries, and generations will need to work together. So young people are committed not just to fighting for change, but also to reaching across divides and ensuring that everyone, everywhere is able to join us in this work.

Last year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Secretary-General issued a call for young people to be “designers of their own future.” In response to this challenge, the United Nations Foundation set up the Next Generation Fellows program, giving dozens of youths from around the world, including myself, a platform to fight for change at the United Nations and through our local governments.

Read the full article about young leaders creating a better world by Inés Yábar at United Nations Foundation.