April 13 to April 22 is Youth Week, a week in which we celebrate the successes, goals and dreams of our young people. Young people are our future; it is our job as a community to nurture them as they grow into functioning and valuable members of our society.
I know my organisation Youth Off The Streets offers exciting and engaging services all year round, but we take particular emphasis on giving young people the chance to celebrate youth week. Our Outreach services are hosting many youth week orientated activities to bring community and individuals closer together. Whether it is at a sporting game at the local park, a BBQ or just hanging out with youth workers, I know that the young people in my services will join in on celebrating this week.
I love being there to celebrate the victories, but I – more than most – know that we can’t just be there for the good times. I have many young people with great success stories but the young people who need you the most are the ones who are living a daily struggle. The young people who leave to go to school without food, the young people who don’t know where they will sleep tonight, the young people who just can’t make it in mainstream schooling. We need to recognise THESE young people and uplift them so that they can make a real difference to their own lives and to the lives of others.
Some young people live with serious disadvantage, these are the kids I work with, and they need your support. If you can, please join us in celebrating youth week – not only will you be celebrating our young people, but you will be supporting some of Australia’s most vulnerable people.
Father Chris Riley.