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Livelihood

Our vision is world where young people can drive sustainable economies, where businesses and governments invest in and learn from young people’s enterprise, and where young people achieve a decent, sustainable living.

We strive to ensure young people take up productive livelihoods and employment opportunities that enable them to have financial independence and contribute to their household income and the economies of their communities and countries.

 

We are responding to two current opportunities:

 

1. Peak Youth: the largest youth population for a lifetime and

 

2. The Global Goals; a critical moment to catalyze citizen action for implementation and accountability.

 

These present an urgent time-bound imperative to bring young people and youth perspectives into the mainstream of development.

Our livelihoods programmes are youth led, with young people from local or national communities trained in facilitation, mentoring and management, giving them the skills to reach their peers and communities, ultimately increasing access to lifeskills training and livelihoods opportunities. Our young volunteers work at the heart of often hard-to-reach regions, allowing us to empower young people and realise their rights in ways that other agencies are unable to. 

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  • Being led by young people: Our approach has evolved to one which focuses on changing the development narrative from one in which children and youth are viewed as beneficiaries or recipients of aid by governments, aid agencies, and civil society actors, to one in which they can truly take up the mantle and lead sustainable development 

  • Supporting young people to improve livelihoods, develop income generating projects and enter formal employment: We deliver targeted grassroots programmes to improve livelihood opportunities of the most excluded and marginalized young people. We also help young people improve their education and skills, while connecting them with existing structures, information and opportunities leading to better livelihoods. Crucially, we do this in collaboration with other national partners and institutions and ensure that our work is sensitive to the context in which we operate 

  • Addressing related issues and building life skills: Our holistic model incorporates programming on health, livelihoods, youth governance and broader life skills. The establishment of independent income sources gives young people more credibility in contributing to decision-making processes in their families and at a community level. It also enables and motivates young people, particularly young women, to make healthier life decisions. Our young volunteers development professionals serve as role models that empower and inspire other youth, and impart critical life skills such as decision making and critical thinking, interpersonal communication, coping and self-management and motivation for health lifestyles and livelihoods  

Our  Approach

  • Promoting a policy environment that prioritizes and engages youth: At the policy level, we work with national governments, the private sector and non-profits to shape policy frameworks and implement initiatives that increase young people’s employability and support enterprise opportunities 

  • Consulting with and supporting the private sector: We are working in partnership with the private sector on how companies can engage with young people as employees, entrepreneurs, a current and future market and as suppliers and distributors. 

  • Building the case for youth-driven development: We bring youth-led research and evidence produced through our programme delivery to ensure that advocacy on livelihoods is rooted in the lived experiences of young people. We have been proving the case for youth-led development for 30 years and can leverage our position as the ‘go-to’ for policy makers and partners. We have the credibility and access to convene, facilitate and context the sector

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