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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 10. August, 7, 1946

Democratic Youth

Democratic Youth

Established after the World Youth Conference held in London last November, the World Federation of Democratic Youth bids fair to become one of the most powerful and progressive forces in the world. The WFDY is a body open to every democratic youth organisation throughout the world. It represents youth united in a determination to work for peace, liberty, democracy, independence and equality everywhere. It regards its work as a contribution to the work of the United Nations, and as the most certain way of ensuring the protection of the rights and interests of youth.

Mr. Herbert C. Williams, one of the three secretaries of the WFDY, will arrive in Wellington on Thursday, August 8. Among other engagements Mr. Williams will address a meeting at VUC on Friday, August 9.

A World Figure

Bert Williams is a 26-year-old Australian who, during the war. worked as a transport driver and youth organiser. His selection as Australian delegate to the World Youth Conference was sponsored by organisations in Australia too numerous to mention. At the World Youth Conference Mr. Williams was unanimously elected as one of the three Secretaries of the World Federation of Democratic Youth. From London be proceeded to Paris and Prague where he attended the World Student Congress. He has recently concluded a very successful tour of Australia publicising the WFDY and organising existing youth associations into the World Federation.

Ideals of the Wfdy

Some of the aims of the WFDY are: to Strive for close international understanding and co-operation among youth in all fields of activity; to eliminate fascism; to work for good conditions of education, labour and leisure; to educate the younger generation in world citizenship; to represent the interests of youth in international affairs.

Never before has the idealism of youth been given such an outstanding opportunity to prove itself a practical and progressive social force in both national and international affairs. Nor has the youth of the world been slow to shoulder problems of international consequence, as activities of youth organisations affiliated to the World Federation amply prove.

Scope of Federation work

Reports are available of youth activities from fifteen different countries. Particularly active are the groups within countries directly affected by the war, where their efforts are bent towards complete elimination of fascist tendencies and towards physical, mental and social reconstruction of their homelands. Evidence of international activity is provided by the active support given by WFDY affiliates to the opponents of fascist Franco.

During World Youth Week many countries organised activities of great social value.

France.—Features were the production campaign and solidarity campaigns for Spanish youth. In Pas de Calais, girls working as pithead sorters have given up their lunch hour to increase production. The greatest activity and enthusiasm was developed for the campaign of assistance to Republican Spain. Ureal Quantities of bandages, medicines and pharmaceutical products have been collected for the guerillas.

In Germany the Allied Command withheld permission to celebrate World Youth Week.

Greece.—Plans for youth activities suppressed by police. In spite of official resistance a mass meeting was held and much publicity given to WFDY.

Austria.—Democratic youth of Austria have been particularly active in their country's reconstruction. Programmes include clearing of bombruined streets, cultural and sports activities, and a vigorous anti-Nazi campaign.

Poland.—The celebrations of Youth Week found a great response all over the country. The entire Polish youth, two million workers and students, took part in production campaigns in the coalfields, repairing the port of Stettin and in sports activities.

Algeria.—5,000 members of democratic youth organisations collected several tons of food and clothing. Later free meals were served to thousands of young people in need.

Burma looks forward to complete independence of every subject nation.

Canada.—Activities centre around campaigns for more work for Canadian youth, better training and pay. "Young Canadians fought hard to win the war. and are going to fight just as hard to win the peace. We are going to let the Government know we are on the Job and expect a Canada in line with the sacrifices that were made during the war."

Cyprus.—World Youth Week celebrated by mass meetings and lectures in 150 towns. Cyprus youth planted a great number of trees and repaired destroyed roads, etc.

Yugoslavia.—Prodigious efforts were made to help in the country's reconstruction. During 620,180 voluntary working days. 42 schools were repaired. 638 destroyed houses cleared, 120 houses repaired, canals and drainage ditches repaired, bridges reconditioned, railway lines repaired, trees planted, land ploughed, extra timber cut. Feature of the activities was the re-opening of 500 libraries and collection of books for them.

Come and Hear for Yourself

Mr. Williams comes to us as the representative of 30 million young people. He is a brilliant speaker with extensive knowledge of youth activities the world over. Come and hear on Friday 9th Mr. Williams' analysis of the part of youth in the world today.

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