YOUTH: THE DRIVING FORCE OF SOCIAL CHANGE
Editor’s Note Conscious Magazine has teamed up with Kellie Kreiss, Co-Founder of Global Populace, to tell stories of impact that encourage an exchange of ideas. Find out more about Kellie Kreiss in this interview here. Follow the series.
Since I first met her, I feel like Netting has been starting out on some new journey, or beginning another project that either promises to transform herself or her entire community into something unforeseeably beautiful. She always has her gaze set forward – ready – and a strong, feminine energy that is moving her, with a giving heart and patience unlike anyone I’ve ever seen. And when you’ve seen the list of things she accomplished – from founding her own nonprofit to doing advocacy work abroad – you can only imagine all the ways she’s going to change our world in the years to come. And I can’t wait to see more of it.
I’ve known her for over three years now and was first introduced to her through her work with Learn2Give, a volunteer English learning home-stay program she cofounded in her home in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. She began developing this program along with a few other students at her university in 2003 as a way to bring English language learning tools back to their villages throughout Ubon. The program quickly caught on and has expanded to include summer camps and after school clubs with younger generations of students continuing to build onto the program to keep in going.
It is through this program, and others like it that she has become this amazingly dynamic connector of people throughout Southeast Asia – always traveling and expanding her network of people and places. And for this reason she has, in many ways, helped to shape what Global Populace has become because of the people we have been able to meet and the places we have gone thanks to her introductions.
So, when I asked Netting how she thinks we can best help our communities to grow and flourish, she told me she believes that “with the passions and skills we all have, the best way to start is by doing something small but beautiful for our communities with our own hands… doing it step by step, keep doing it, and never give up. If we do this, I strongly believe that our communities will be better places to live in”.
But I think the most important part of what she added was how essential youth involvement is to lasting community development, for not only is there the evident fact that the youth of today are going to inherit the communities we leave them, but they too are essential players in determining its fate. They are members of our communities with ideas, passions, and creativity that will shape and reshape our futures, but we first must empower them with the tools to do so – and that starts by including them in the conversation. “Our youth are very passionate and energetic, and when they do something they do it fully with their hearts – with open minds and no limits. Every community needs its youth.”
From the Editor
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Images: Global Populace