The young constitute a major force in the development of any community, yet often their resources remain untapped. The formulation of development programmes and in the identification and implementation of ways to achieve progress, the ability of young people to contribute has often been underestimated and neglected; the younger generation has been left out of the mainstream, thus depriving society at large of an inestimable resource of creative thought and intelligence. Programmes and activities for young people often fail because of lack of support either from the adult members of the community, or from the young people themselves who resist organization from 'outside'. In addition, lack of formal structuring of time outside school hours hinders participation even when the desire is present.
As times change, formal school education is being taken more seriously in third world communities. Youth are pulled away from both gainful work and the home. This shift in values derived from increased education and exposure produces acute conflicts between youth and adults. When rural youth come home from school they are expected to do a number of household chores. Some feel they need as much leisure time as youth in urban areas. As the conflict increases, the forms of discipline demand more attention. Discipline in the schools has sometimes been harsh or physically harmful. Communities waver between upholding old expectations and rapidly advancing into a modern style. While providing education for its youth some communities lack local social forms to engage youth in community areas broader than formal schooling. The combination of a vacillating set of social expectations and the youth's feelings of being stifled by the generational differences contribute to departures of young people from their homes for training and work. Unless this trend toward insufficient youth engagement is curbed soon, the future development of local neighbourhoods and villages will be deprived of vigour and vision.