Youth conference aims to contribute
A conference kicking off today is predicted to draw more than 500 young people from around the region to discuss the well-being of their communities.
The conference is open to people aged between 15-30 and is one of a series of 114 youth conferences being held worldwide over the next four months.
The events were initiated by the Universal House of Justice, the governing body of the Baha’i Faith.
Luke Gibson, 22, is looking forward to be part of a global movement calling on young people to focus their energy on bringing about constructive change in society.
‘‘It’s pretty amazing to be part of this global endeavour,’’ the Hillsborough resident says.
‘‘It’s an opportunity to work with my peers and to influence the fortunes of humanity.’’
Mr Gibson has already been working within his community to help young people develop an attitude of service and contribute positively to their neighbourhoods.
‘‘The best thing I like about this work is seeing other co-ordinators I train go on to work independently in their community, but I can accompany them and ensure they are able to sustain their activities.’’
Themes being discussed during the conference include the unique characteristics that distinguish the period of youth, the great responsibility facing young people to contribute to the betterment of society, and the importance of fostering an environment of encouragement.
Co-organiser Alison Shackell says one of the aims of the gatherings is to engage youth in an ever-expanding conversation about the wellbeing of their communities.
‘‘The desire to bring about constructive change in society is the aspiration of many young people around the world,’’ she says.
‘‘The historical contribution of youth to the transformation of society is well documented.’’
The New Zealand Youth Conference is on at Manukau’s Vodafone Event Centre until Sunday.