Youth UnMuted envisions a world in which the voice of every young person is elevated and valued, enabling youth to act as agents of change within their own lives and communities. Youth UnMuted engages with displaced youth, facilitating workshops on-the-ground and inviting youth to contribute to the online Youth UnMuted Magazine. The Magazine provides a platform on which youth can advocate for themselves, offering readers globally a chance to view the world through their camera lenses, understand their lives through their poems and prose, and to feel their emotions through their artwork. Further, it does so by elevating youth’s own words while safeguarding them from manipulation and exploitation in their advocacy for social change.
Youth UnMuted met Aref during a series of workshops on Lesvos Island in Greece. Aref, age 20 from Afghanistan, is very politically and socially aware of international events and is a beautiful poet. He wrote the poem, One Blood, as a message of solidarity with the families being separated at the US-Mexico border last summer, drawing parallels between what is happening at the boarder and what is occurring with refugees in Greece and beyond. His poem, and many other youth works, can be found in the first edition of the Youth UnMuted Magazine at www.youthunmuted.org/magazine