With Guatemalas sizeable youth population, Julia Noethiger has been working as a UN Volunteer assisting UNICEF with advocacy efforts for adolescents. One of her goals is to strengthen youth capacity to enable political action.
Since statistics on youth are scarce in Guatemala, Julia was involved in national workshops where she engaged with adolescents and discussed their issues: for example, she spoke with them about their problems, their dreams, and possible solutions to their concerns.
As a result of this outreach, Julia and her partners discovered that violence, education, lack of communication, and employment were major topics of discussion amongst Guatemalan youth. She has been using this information towards planning out projects and initiatives.
It has been a meaningful experience to learn from adolescents through a process of conversation in terms of what their needs and wishes are, says Julia.