Youth around the world

Development Cooperation in Africa and Latin America

The Children and Youth Foundation’s development cooperation supports the wellbeing of youth and their active participation in developing countries. The activities aim to strengthen the rights of youth and reduce inequality and poverty.

There are more youth in the world today than ever before. The youth age bracket is expected to reach two billion by 2050. Nearly 90 per cent of the world’s youth live in developing countries. The economic and social development of countries, as well as social stability in the whole world, are dependent on how we can make use of young people’s energy and skills. Youth are also in a key position to solve global challenges, such as the spread of extremism and climate change.

We promote opportunities for youth to participate freely in society, gain dignified employment and access education. Through our programmes, young people carry out volunteer projects in their communities and engage in influencing work, establish their own businesses or are given help to find a place to study or a job. Young people’s life skills, such as self-esteem, social skills and the ability to set goals, are strengthened through cooperation and activities requiring their own initiative. Taking care of the environment and ensuring gender equality are common threads throughout our activities.

The Foundation’s development cooperation supports the fulfillment of the Finnish development policy programme and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Building bridges

We challenge operators in society to take global responsibility for youth requiring special support.  Responsible companies, work communities and their employees have the opportunity to contribute their own expertise and effort in order to promote the wellbeing of the world’s youth and support global development together with the Foundation. In addition, our activities build bridges between youth from different countries and cultural backgrounds, thereby increasing their sense of global understanding and responsibility.

Our development cooperation projects are carried out in cooperation with local partner organisations. The Finnish Children and Youth Foundation is part of the Global Partner Network (GPN) of the International Youth Foundation (IYF), which has 470 member organisations from 69 different countries. The members of the GPN are the Foundation’s main partners in cooperation.

In Finland, the most important cooperation networks are the Youth Network for Development Cooperation coordinated by the Foundation and the umbrella organisation for development cooperation organisations Kepa.

Our development cooperation projects have affected the lives of thousands of young people in developing countries as well as their communities. In the videos and audio recording below, youth tell about their experiences: