In the 21st century world, global citizenship is no longer a choice but a necessity. Individuals, particularly youths, need to be cognizant of the workings of the world as well as the issues facing their fellow Earthlings, because this awareness is what will enable collective commitment and action towards sustainable development.
Cultivating and nurturing a strong sense of global citizenship should start at a young age with education. Global citizenship education (GCED) is the best way to raise global citizens. With its focus on equipping youths with the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve sustainable development, human rights, equality, peace, and cultural diversity, GCED offers a myriad of attractive benefits, both for the global citizen and the world around him/her.
The Benefits of Global Citizenship Education for Young People
Global Citizenship Benefit #1: Awareness of World Events and Issues
Becoming a global citizen means developing a keen awareness of what is happening in the world. Being in the know allows you to spot problematic trends or phenomena, and take action, no matter how small it may be. It could be as simple as donating money to organizations fighting for a noble cause that is important to you, or it could be more involved like volunteering for a local food drive. Whatever it is, taking action is definitely better than doing nothing, and it would not be possible without a clear awareness of what is going on around the world.
Global Citizenship Benefit #2: Learn About Personal Values and Aspirations
By learning about the world, you will inevitably discover new facets of yourself that may not have been apparent to you before. For example, as you are exposed to news of events that are taking place around the world, you might find that some issues resonate with you more than others. Do climate change and the lack of decisive action to curb it make you tick? Are you itching to address inequalities in education and technology? Getting to know yourself and the forces that drive you to get out of bed every single day can help you better understand yourself, select the best career path for you and, more importantly, decide what kind of global citizen you want to be.
Global Citizenship Benefit #3: Become a Leader
Global citizenship education is dedicated to raising future leaders who recognize the world’s challenges and who are committed to maintaining world peace. The skills with which you will walk away as a global citizen - communicating your opinions, thinking critically and solving complex problems - will help you to develop leadership skills for the future. For example, communicating is not just about talking; it is also about truly listening to what other people have to say. Moreover, possessing an awareness of world events will allow you to develop empathy, which is an essential quality for leaders to make the right choices with their critical thinking abilities and, eventually, to solve complex multilayered issues.
Global Citizenship Benefit #4: Prepare for the Workforce of the Future
Learning about global issues and getting to know your values are smart steps to help you choose what kind of career you would like to build. Although work is not everything, it is a major part of life, and knowing what motivates you and what matters to you can help you choose the right career path, possibly one that allows you to positively contribute to the causes that you care about. Even if your job may not relate to all your values, the competencies you gain from a global citizenship education, like communication and interpersonal skills, are transferable to a workplace setting. Also, a global citizen’s intolerance for injustice could make the workplace a more equitable place for all.
The Benefits of Global Citizenship for the World
Global Citizenship Benefit #5: Promotion of Sustainability
Global citizens recognize the shared ownership of the planet, and are guided by a strong moral compass. They believe in preserving the environment, economy and society for future generations. Combined with global citizens’ desire for a better world, they are likely to take action in curbing unsustainable practices, such as cutting greenhouse gas emissions and advocating against inhumane labor conditions. In other words, global citizenship education can mobilize individuals to positively contribute to their communities, setting in motion a more sustainable development and creating a fairer world.
Global Citizenship Benefit #6: World Peace
Global citizenship education believes in instilling a culture of peace, which can only be achieved with sustainable development where injustices are absent. This mindset guides the actions of global citizens, as they champion sustainability in the economy, society, and environment. Whether it is a peaceful rally advocating for corporations and governments to take swift climate action or debating for social issues, these actions fight for positive tangible changes while putting peace at the forefront.
So, now that you’ve read all about the positive impacts of global citizenship education, do you wish to become a global citizen? Start your journey today with The Global Citizen (TGC) Education Group. With a myriad of co-curricular programs ranging from Model United Nations (MUN), Model ASEAN, public speaking, debate, and social entrepreneurship, you can develop a sense of global identity and equip yourself with essential skills for the 21st century.
Although the COVID-19 has disrupted virtually all aspects of life, including in-person education, TGC has committed itself to continue educating youths safely during this time through its online platform, TGC Academy. With online learning, you can develop global citizenship while staying safe at home and enjoy other benefits.