Youth in civil society

Ensuring young people are connected, valued partners in development.

The global challenge

Young people are a significant and growing part of society. More than half of the world’s population of nearly 7.5 billion people are under the age of 30 – the biggest youth generation ever.

Young people are often undervalued, underestimated and expected to underachieve. In fact, they are one of the most important resources the world has. Active young people are essential if we are to achieve the Global Goals, but they are often excluded from decision making that affects them because of a lack of knowledge, skills or voice.

Our approach

We believe that young people can be agents of change on both a global and local scale. We will work to create an environment where young people from all backgrounds and cultures can participate in civil society. We want them to be able to safely hold governments and other stakeholders to account.

All our programmes have a youth leadership component in their design. We challenge young people to go beyond their comfort zones, taking part in a trek or being a leader during their placement. We engage them in structured reflection activities throughout.

Through a curriculum of ‘active citizenship’, we support all volunteers to develop the key knowledge and skills required to tackle issues that matter to each of them.

Our goal

20,000 young people will be leaders and partners, inspiring 100,000 actions in sustainable development.

Contributing to Global Goals:

Our activities

Increasing the capability of young people to effectively engage as partners and leaders in the achievement of the Global Goals by:
  • Giving young people hands-on experiences and training to learn about their rights, the Global Goals and the legislation and governance structures that affect their lives

  • Equipping you people with leadership skills and social development

  • Setting up and strengthening youth support networks

Increasing the number of young partners in development by:
  • Raising awareness of the importance and value of young people in development

  • Training and supporting young people to participate in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects which affect them and others

Increasing the number of young leaders, decision makers and advocates in development by:
  • Encouraging and supporting youth-led advocacy campaigns

  • Enabling young people to influence service delivery and political processes, and to access and use data to hold authorities to account locally and nationally

  • Supporting young people to take part in conferences and decision-making processes