Youth Against Poverty

Speaking at a Salesian-sponsored symposium on youth as agents of global change, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, S.D.B., Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, observed that one-fifth of the world’s population are between 18 and 24 years of age. He called that cohort “an amazing pool of talent we must tap into if we are to relieve poverty in our lifetime.” According to the cardinal, who presented his views at U.N. headquarters in New York on Sept. 24, unemployment and inadequate education are at the heart of the problems confronting the world’s young. Young people without work and access to education sometimes turn to the streets, drug gangs and violence. Others choose to make a precarious migration to escape their plight. “Everyday thousands of young people are making the journey to cross the border from Mexico into United States,” said Cardinal Rodríguez. “We must make changes in the way our global economy functions,” he said. “We must create jobs and support small farms. This means radically rethinking our casino capitalist system.”

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