The International Youth Foundation (IYF) prepares young people to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens.
They are passionate in their belief that educated, employed, and engaged young people possess the power to solve the world’s toughest problems. Every young person, therefore deserves the opportunity to realize his or her full potential. Their programs are catalysts for change that help youth learn, work, and lead.
Recognizing that no one sector of society alone has the resources or expertise to effectively address the myriad challenges facing today’s youth, IYF is mobilizing a global community of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations — each committed to developing the power and promise of young people. Since 1990, 54 public and private sector donors have invested US$163 million to maximize the impact and reach of youth development programs. In all, IYF has provided grants to 332 organizations in 86 countries.
Active citizenship is the cornerstone of social change. IYF believes that young people’s participation as citizens — be it students, workers, family or community members — is fundamental to building stable and healthy democracies. IYF prepares youth to fully participate in civic life by supporting youth engagement (volunteerism, community service, service-learning, civic participation) and empowerment (leadership, social entrepreneurship, and activism).
Their citizenship programs are guided by the core conviction that young people are a powerful and untapped force to create positive change in their communities and nations. Leading the way is YouthActionNet®, which is developing a new generation of socially-conscious global citizens who create positive change in their communities, their countries, and the world.
At IYF, Learning is about improving the academic performance, knowledge, and skills of youth as the foundation for leading a healthy and productive life. An estimated 125 million children worldwide are not in school. For those who do have access to an education, they need to ask: are they acquiring the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in life? IYF works with public, private, and civil society partners to expand and improve young people’s access to quality and relevant education — from delivering alternative education programs to out-of-school youth to equipping rural schools with new educational technologies. They also support programs that more closely connect the learning that goes on in the classroom to the demands of the workplace.
Recognizing the critical role that teachers play in motivating learning, IYF and its Partners provide teachers with the best possible training to build young people’s creativity, self-esteem, and vocational skills. At the core of all IYF initiatives are life skills. IYF’s proven Passport to Success curriculum, available in 12 languages, equips young people with a range of practical skills to help them maximize their potential as students, workers, and citizens.
IYF’s Work programs improve young people’s employability prospects by preparing them for quality jobs and helping others succeed as entrepreneurs. A staggering 400 million young people around the world are unable to find decent work. At the same time, employers cite lack of skills as a major impediment to hiring youth for those jobs that do exist. Working to fill this gap, IYF equips youth with life skills and technical know how, while connecting them to the mentors, internships, and job placement services they need to succeed in the job market.
They also help youth employ themselves and create new jobs by training them to be entrepreneurs and linking them to the capital needed to start new businesses. Using their proven program model as a guide, they collaborate with global institutions across sectors to focus greater attention and resources on combating youth unemployment worldwide. One IYF Work program that is leading the way is entra21 which, to date, has provided more than 38,000 Latin American youth with knowledge and skills they need to effectively compete in the 21st century labor market.
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