Million Minutes: Changing the View on Young People Today
The youth of today is stereotyped as being rude and lazy. The general opinion is that we don't care about what happens in the world, and that we'd just as soon as kick a blind man than help him across the street. We're all bad people, because during our youth, the time of experimentation and growing up, we rebel and try new things. Of course, there are some people like this, but there are rude and lazy people in every age group and the whole of our age group are getting blamed for such a small percentage of our population. Million Minutes is here to change this view.
Founded in 2011, Million Minutes is a UK based, not for profit organisation that gives support to young people so they can transform their lives and the world. They believe strongly in the power of young people, saying 'young people's energy and vibrancy is astonishing'. The charity was created for three reasons, the main one being (in their own words) "silence helps us to stand in solidarity with young people who are shut out, stereotyped and scapegoated in society today. Young people are seen and not heard and that's not fair." They want to get rid of the image that young people don't care about what happens in the world and show that yes, in fact, we do.
The idea for the main project they are doing right now is simple. 695 people staying silent for 24 hours is a million minutes. If these 695 people got sponsored for a pound a minute, then that would be a million pounds already. Of course, that's a lot of money to get sponsored for, but even getting sponsored for just an hour could make a big difference. They have used this idea as a way for young people to be heard - by staying silent. This project is supported by many people who are also well known for making a difference, the Million Minutes Champions. As well as these champions this charity has the backing of famous celebrities such as the chef Delia Smith, and support is still growing.
The money raised from the silence created by Million Minutes goes towards helping youth homelessness, youth leadership, youth overseas and youth peace on the streets, amongst other things. The charity is run primarily by young people themselves, as a way of changing the stereotype of the youths of today. So, as well as helping young people to improve their lives, they are also improving the image, and showing that we're not all bad.
Although this is a UK based charity with work solely in the UK, the message it carries still stands worldwide. You don't have to do something for this charity, it could be for anything, but getting out there and showing the world that the young people of today aren't all bad is easy. You could just do something as simple as a sponsored silence, but you could do more. Don’t succumb to the stereotype, fight it!