12th of August: United Nations International Youth Day

12 August 2019


Athens, 12 August 2019


12th of August: United Nations International Youth Day


YouSmile European Student Volunteer Network together with children and young volunteers from across the world unite their forces and ask us to listen to them. It is time to do so!


“The Smile of the Child”, an Organization with consultative status at the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and associated member of UN Global Communications Unit, honors this International Youth Day by participating through the YouSmile Network to the global effort of the United Nations.


it is worthwhile to mention that young volunteers of YouSmile represent the network and “The Smile of the Child” to the DGC Youth Representatives of the United Nations, whereas the network will participate online to the upcoming 68th UN Civil Society Conference, planned to be held in Utah, USA and will spread the voice of children from Greece and beyond.


This year’s theme of the International Youth Day highlights efforts to make education more inclusive and accessible for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves, whereas the UN campaign focuses on a yearly basis to the problems and challenges for the youth around the world as well as the crucial role young people can play in transforming societies.


According to the UN only 10% of people have completed upper secondary education in low income countries; 40 % of the global population is not taught in a language they speak or fully understand; and over 75 % of secondary school age refugees are out of school. In addition, indigenous youth, young people with disabilities, young women, young people belonging to vulnerable groups or in vulnerable situations, etc. are facing additional challenges to access education that respects their diverse needs and abilities as well as reflects and embraces their unique realities and identities.


In Greece, “The Smile of the Child” created YouSmile in 2012. Since then, the network promotes and provides tools to children, young volunteers and entire school communities in cooperation with the Hellenic Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. In addition, children and young people themselves express their voice without any interference from the adults, raise awareness on their rights, empower their personal skills and bring change to local communities and the wider society.


Based on the active participation of its volunteers YouSmile participates to and collaborates with important international decision-making fora, Organizations and child protection networks, such as the European Union, the Council of Europe, the United Nations and Brussels-based Eurochild with the goal to promote the voice of children and the youth either from Greece or other countries.


In 2019:

  • YouSmile carried out more than 40 volunteer actions with the participation of 893 student volunteers;
  • It held the 3rd YouSmile Awards and promoted actions and initiatives of 9.578 students which had a positive impact on their social surroundings and inspired other children and adults;
  • It launched an awareness raising campaign against bullying with the participation of more than 4.500 students across Greece, spreading the message “SPEAK NOW”;
  • It implemented actions on this year’s Safer Internet Day;
  • It participated to the International Conference “Sexual Abuse of Children: Next Steps for the Holistic Support of Children”, organized by ‘The Smile of the Child” in Athens.

In its 7 years of successful operation, YouSmile has reached out to more than 5.000 students and more than 150 schools throughout Greece based on the use of its YouSmile website, internet TV, radio, and more than 450 broadcasts and has participated in events aimed at mobilizing and raising awareness of issues related to them, such as school bullying, child abuse, teenagers runaways, gaming addiction, social networks and safe Internet use.


The action of YouSmile is supported by the scientific staff of "The Smile of the Child" and is one of the key tools for informing children with the use of technology about their rights, the existence and operation of the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056 and the European Helpline for Children and Adolescents 116111, where they can turn to for help and assistance either for themselves or their friends.


Learn more about the UN campaign on this International Youth Day here.


Follow us on our social networks using the following hashtags #YouthDay, #TransformingEducation, #YouSmile, #ListenToUs, #AkousteMas, #TheTimeHasCome


To learn more about YouSmile follow the instagram account here


For more information about the press release please contact our Press Team at press@hamogelo.gr or at +30 210 33 06140.