"The Smile of the Child" celebrates World Youth Day: the sustainable future of all of us has no age!

12 August 2022


Athens, August 12th, 2022


"The Smile of the Child" celebrates World Youth Day: the sustainable future of all of us has no age!


"Children are the future." A phrase that we have all heard, but which most of the time is not accompanied by actions to give the floor to children's speech and initiatives to shape the present and our collective future. In this context, World Youth Day is celebrated every year on August 12th with the aim of highlighting the issues that concern young people and recognizing them as active members of civil society.

The theme of this year's United Nations campaign is "Solidarity between Generations: creating a world for all ages", with the aim of achieving the Organization's sustainable development goals by promoting inter-age cooperation and equitable relationships so that no one is left behind. And while our minds more easily tend to go to the exclusion of older people from public debate and participation in the decision-making process, the challenges that also exist against young people, and especially children, are serious.

Age is a factor that often, due to prejudices, prevents both older and younger citizens, from contributing to their community and "The Smile of the Child" has of course taken action!

As an Organization with a consultative role in the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and an interconnected member of the UN Office of Public Information (UN DPI) “The Smile” participates in the global campaign and informs about the action of the European Student Voluntary Network YouSmile and the Child Rights Group.

Since 2009, on the initiative of the YouSmilers (children/volunteers) themselves and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, the Organization coordinates the Children's Rights Group by providing it with a consultative and advisory role, "The Smile" became the first Greek Organization to implement Article 12, on Freedom of Expression and Children's Participation, which are fundamental rights of children.

Child members are constantly educated about their rights and organize actions to raise awareness and inform society, having a presence at the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.

The European Student Voluntary Network YouSmile is the only Greek voluntary action for children and young people. In its 10 years of successful operation, more than 30,000 children and young people and 930 schools participated in voluntary actions offering relief and a big smile to children in need and in events aimed at mobilizing and raising awareness of issues that concern them, such as:

  • Children’s Rights
  • School bullying
  • Child abuse
  • Teenage runaways
  • Addiction to video games and social media
  • Safe use of the internet

It is worth noting that during the 1st semester of 2022, 306 students participated in 334 actions from 48 schools, in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa, Heraklion and Rethymnon, where the YouSmile Program takes place.

This year's World Youth Day turns our attention to the abilities, needs and initiatives of children and the real power they have to shape the world of tomorrow, a world that belongs to them. Their young age should not be considered as a hindrance towards raising their voice in the public debate, but the driving force of all future adults of civil society.

Our worlds’ stage belongs to the children! Because they keep the future of all of us in their hearts and minds.

Let's hear it from them. Let's trust them.

More information on the actions implemented by the YouSmile Student Volunteering Network and information on how a child can become a volunteer can be found here.

More information:
"The Smile of the Child"
Press Office Tel. 11040