Youth Empowerment

Equipping youth with life skills

When provided the right resources and skills, youth can break the cycle of exclusion and disadvantage many of them face. As many countries confront a population “youth bulge,” our whole-child approach to youth programming has proven effective.

We apply multi-faceted strengths- and rights-based approaches to young people’s educational, health, economic, and psychosocial needs. 

With schools, communities, and ministries of education as partners, we increase access to education and high-quality curricula for in- and out-of-school youth. Our early warning systems identify and support students who are at risk of dropout to stay in school and complete their education, while linking them to social protection and post-abuse services. 

We deliver a range of life skills programming that develops essential knowledge to protect youth from abuse, violence, exploitative labor, unsafe migration, and HIV. We also support government health, education, and social welfare systems that help youth access needed services. 

We strengthen economic resilience and opportunity by equipping young people with employable and entrepreneurial skills through continuing education, financial literacy, internships, apprenticeships, vocational training, business and income-generating support, and savings, lending, and work-readiness programs.

We partner with families and caregivers, schools, communities, and governments to mitigate socio-economic threats and restrictive norms and traditions so that young people can become healthy and productive adults. 

Young students pose playfully outside school
Digital Skills

We integrate technology into learning by training teachers in interactive programs and assessments to reach and involve young people. We are also working to close the digital divide faced by our most vulnerable youth, creating mobile solutions to literacy and social challenges. Learn more.

Work Readiness

We prepare out-of-school youth for employment by developing their skills and linking them to private-sector companies for internships and apprenticeships. Our programs include a package of career guidance, life skills, financial and entrepreneurial literacy, and communication skills to prepare young people to find decent work in emerging economies.

Youth Livelihoods

Recognizing the constraints on people who have limited education and live far from economic hubs, we provide a suite of livelihoods programming to enable youth to start small businesses and income-generating activities. We deliver market-responsive skills training, including small-scale production and processing, as well as services that are relevant to the local economy and have low capital requirements and low-risk thresholds. Through our programs, youth—including many marginalized young women—are gaining a measure of economic independence through activities such as gardening for local markets, poultry and livestock production, fish processing, and auto and bicycle repair. 



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