The publication is a project of the World Council of Churches Youth Engagement in the ecumenical movement programme.
The toolkit’s introduction explains the rationale for the materials, which include tips for activism and advocacy, ideas for observing International Youth Day, prayers, and photos that tell the story of both the pain and hope of young people in warzones.
“Political insurrection and ideologies have permeated the fabric of society,” notes the introduction. “This has caused division and hatred, resulting in the loss of innocent lives.”
The publication notes that the world is constantly threatened by conflicts, wars, and injustice. “Often this means that young people are caught in situations which do not reflect their intentions and views,” reads the introduction. “Conflicts and injustice disrupt the lives of young people on various levels.”
Topics addressed in the toolkit include displacement and loss, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and the moral imperative for peace-building. “This year, there is a special desire to draw attention to the situation of young people who live the hard realities of wars, conflicts, and injustice,” explains the introduction. “This document contains resources and suggested ways to observe this day and adapt it to your context.”
Rev. Dr Kuzipa Nalwamba, WCC programme director for Unity, Mission and Ecumenical Formation, noted that the Pilgrimage of Justice, Reconciliation, and Unity that the WCC 11th Assembly has affirmed as the overarching theme for the 2023-2030 strategic period strongly affirms the agency and voice of young people in stimulating the ecumenical vision.
“This toolkit demonstrates that capacity,” she said. “Youth are great advocates for justice, reconciliation and unity. Their vibrant, engaged prophetic vision challenges us to grapple with scripture, theologies and socio-political challenges of today with a renewed sense of vocation towards God’s purpose for the flourishing of all people and the planet.”