HI Hostels Blog

Celebrating UN International Youth Day

“In this landmark year, as leaders prepare to adopt a bold new vision for sustainable development, the engagement of youth is more valuable than ever. At this critical moment in history, I call on young people to demand and foster the dramatic progress so urgently needed in our world.”

– Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Wednesday 12th August marks the celebration of the UN International Youth Day, encouraging young people to have a hand in sustainable development around the world.

We’re all for engagement through the youth hostelling movement, and what a powerful tool that is – with opportunities for local and international participation in events, volunteerism, sustainability initiatives, inter-cultural exchange and much more.

How we contribute to building and designing futures

Our global network of hostels coordinates a range of international events and initiatives throughout the year – here are just a few examples, and you can find more up-to-date details on our Say HI to a better world Tripbook, with information on how to get involved:

IOU Respect inter-cultural exchange

In collaboration with our National Associations, IOU Respect is a platform which provides unique exchange opportunities to explore cultural differences and appreciate undeniable similarities among people from all over the world. In July of this year, the exchange involved a two-week trip to Paris bringing together individuals from six partner countries – the US, Egypt, France, Germany, Lebanon and Tunisia for a journey of discovery and understanding.

IOU Respect Inter-cultural exchange 2013
IOU Respect Inter-cultural exchange 2013
Sleep for Peace

Sometimes, talking to strangers can be a really good thing. On September 21st, hostels from all over the world will get involved in this event kick-started by HI USA to celebrate travel’s ability to foster deeper understanding of people, places and the world around us. Celebrations come in many different forms depending on the unique character of the hostel, and may include communally cooked meals, debates and discussions, collaborative art and much more. Stay tuned here for updates on how you can volunteer and further event details.

Glasses for all

About half of the Bolivian population lives in the countryside and are thus too far away from optical care to obtain new glasses when necessary. Hostelling International supports Glasses for all, a project which makes sure new glasses and lenses are provided to people from some of the remotest and undeveloped parts of the country. HI Bolivia also runs social volunteering programs combining Spanish lessons with teaching and supporting local schools in Bolivia’s mountainous regions – a perfect way to give something back to local communities.

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Spread the word about International Youth Day by using the hashtag #YouthDay.

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