(BPT) - The world is changing fast and in ways it never has before, and although kids remain optimistic about their futures, research shows they don’t know how they can actively be participants in positive changemaking.
According to a 2022 survey by Nickelodeon, 46% of children felt that they didn't have the power to change today's issues. This isn't necessarily because of a lack of confidence. The survey also found that 69% of kids said they didn't know how to get involved in their communities. What it boils down to is that kids need to gain the skills to deal with the change around them. Even though they can't vote, kids have a voice and can positively impact the world locally and globally.
To give kids a platform and avenues to effect change in their neighborhoods, Nickelodeon has launched the Our World campaign. This global initiative aims to inspire kids and provide the necessary tools so they can make a difference in their communities through actions big and small.
The campaign underscores that kids can exercise their individual and collective agency to address pressing issues in their neighborhoods. Through strategic partnerships, including Ashoka and Aspen Institute, Nickelodeon provides kids access to age-appropriate opportunities to be the change they want to see.
Pathways to participation
In partnership with ChangeX, a fundraising platform, Nickelodeon has set up the Our World US Community Fund to provide resources and support to community projects that would otherwise go unfunded. From the arts to STEM to environmental sustainability, funded projects will be actively led by kids — with the guidance of a grown-up co-leader, to shape their communities for the better.
Nickelodeon and ChangeX have provided project ideas for kids to get started, such as recycling, composting, coding, environmental cleanups and community food pantries and gardens. However, children aren't limited to these ideas. They can apply for funding of an original or existing project for consideration.
Funded projects will receive a free resource pack, mentorship and technology tools to get started. There are also opportunities for additional impact funding. In funding these projects, the Our World campaign hopes to help children realize their agency and become the changemakers their communities, and the world, needs.
Another Our World partnership is with 4-H — America's largest youth development organization — which offers kids opportunities to improve the world around them. Children can join a local 4-H chapter and find like-minded peers and mentors while participating in hands-on service activities like an environmental cleanup of a park or highway, collecting and distributing essential items to those in need, planting and tending a community garden or reading to younger kids after school.
Creating a culture of kindness
Beyond working together on local initiatives, Our World also encourages children to take simple actions in their daily lives that can profoundly impact the people they meet and, by extension, their community. For example, an easy way to create change is to be kind to those around you. According to research by Nickelodeon, kids of all ages and demographics believe that kindness is one of the most important factors that help someone make a difference.
For example, at school, kids can look for peers sitting alone at lunch and ask them to join their table. During a sports game, they can compliment their teammates on their skills or offer to play with them after practice to improve. These small actions can have a big impact on someone's day and foster a positive and inclusive community. Also, acts of kindness may inspire others to be kind, too, creating a culture of kindness at their school and beyond.
Getting started is easy
Nickelodeon believes that through actions big and small, kids of all ages have the power to make a positive impact on the world and wants to help them unlock their potential. The Our World campaign will be rolling out more ideas and opportunities to support and encourage children's civic engagement locally and globally. To learn more and get started, kids can visit OurWorld.com today.