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CfB Bureau

Ramesh and seven of his fellow villagers could not read or write in any language in 2007, and did not have any opportunities to earn a living. But they set out to accomplish the impossible. And in just eight months, they went from being illiterate to being fully qualified to work as ‘knowledge workers’ in Bangalore’s booming tech sector.

Laxmi was told she couldn’t be an athlete. In her community, once you turn 12, you get married. She was told she was for making children and housework. But Laxmi broke away and joined GOAL, a programme run by the Naz Foundation Trust, to become a coach and a referee. “Sport has changed my life. I am more confident, determined, fearless, and self-dependent,” she says.

These are a couple of inspirational stories from Indian youth on http://showyourselfie.org, showcasing their potential, struggles and triumphs, and more importantly, as Ramesh says: “What young people can achieve if given an opportunity."

The global petition campaign #showyourselfie was launched on International Youth Day 2014, by UNFPA and Global Citizen to urge world leaders to prioritize the needs and rights of young people in the agenda for international development once the Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015. Needs and rights include education, employment skills and opportunities, quality health care, access to contraception, comprehensive sexuality education, protection from violence and harmful practices and participation in decision-making.

The campaign seeks to mobilize millions of young people and their supporters to tell decision makers across the world that young people must be at the centre of plans that will shape our future. It asks them to do this by taking a selfie and sharing it with the campaign.

Each selfie is a visual signature that shows the person pictured believes in the power of the world's 1.8 billion young people. Thousands and thousands of photographs, from all corners of the globe, will send a clear message to leaders that it's time to put young people in the spotlight.

The visual petition will be delivered to world leaders in September 2015 during the UN General Assembly. If you support the cause please can you—and everyone you know who shares this belief— #showyourselfie for youth!