Intergenerational collaboration is beneficial to us all when working towards a common goal of more humanity.
The other day, we went to a marking of senior citizens day here in Tanahun District in Nepal. Red Cross Junior/Youth Circle at a school outside of Damauli had invited individuals above the age of 75 years old. Speeches were held, dances performed and food provided under a three casting shade over the young and old who had gathered that sunny end-of-moonsoon day.
Senior citizens day is a good day to reflect upon what senior citizens have done to drive society forward, and how they continue to do so. It is also a good day to reflect upon how young and old can come together and work together to achieve more together.
For youth engagement to be optimal, the senior leadership must include youth in decision making processes. Youth must be included and invited for dialogue, also on matters beyond youth-centered topics.
That means that not only are youth to learn from adults, but adults are to learn from youth. Not only are youth to listen to adults, but adults are to listen to youth. Intergenerational collaboration is about working together on various topics, related to the young as well as the elderly, independently of age. We have so much to learn from each other. Together we have more knowledge, more ideas, more solutions to solving humanitarian needs and more humanity.
Youth engagement is also about getting the voices and actions of youth to influence the actions and voices of other generations while being in the same room, talking together. Just like the youth and elderly gathered together that day under that large three providing shade.