ypwc
Informing, educating and empowering youth to change the world.

What is YPWC?

YPWC is a youth led and youth focused organization that is headquartered in Ghana. The organization is operated by a combination of young people (aged 10 to 35) and adult allies working on youth and development related issues worldwide. YPWC was founded in December 2005.

The mission of YPWC is to educate and inform youth on global issues; inspire them to take action; encourage youth participation in global issues; identify and build sustainable partnerships aimed at youth development; and provide young people with the tools and resources required for effective action.

Its vision is to provide a ‘youthful voice’ that represents the youth of our world. By effectively using young resourceful minds to influence the course of global policy formulation and development in a consistent and harmonized manner, YPWC seeks to address the numerous challenges facing young people today. Herein lies the main strength of YPWC – it is an organization led by young people, for young people.

Based on the philosophy of participatory learning, YPWC inspires and supports youth action by creating a platform. This allows for youth to translate their knowledge and desires into action, whilst simultaneously involving young people in decision-making regarding key developmental and global issues.

Currently YPWC core working team in Ghana works closely with a team of virtual volunteers located all over the world. In addition to these workers, there is a network of Youth Action Ambassadors who live and operate in countries outside of Ghana, such as the Philippines, Mexico, the Palestinian Territories, and Nigeria. In all about fifteen young people are currently contributing to the growth of the organization virtually whilst also impacting on their own local communities.

The organization’s on-site activities give YPWC the chance to work directly with young people through practical action projects, aimed particularly at encouraging youth participation and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The core areas targeted by YPWC’s activities and projects are:

Youth Migration

Millennium Development Goals

HIV/AIDS

Sister Schools and Youth Group Networks

In general, we educate, inspire and assist young people to take action NOW by helping design programs that empower youth and advise them on how to implement action projects successfully. Additionally, we make sure that youth or a “youthful voice” is/are present at debates or meetings on key issues of today’s global order that affect young people. We are committed to making an impact in the lives of young people and the world as a whole. By supporting YPWC, you join a team of young curious minds, working hard to make a positive difference in the world. We are trying to do something that will show to the world that young people have the power to change the world if they are given enough support..

What do you know?

Poverty has been the greatest shame and scandal of our era. At the UN Millennium Summit in 2000,189 world leaders promised to end poverty by 2015, which translates into committing themselves to the realization of eight Goals, that is the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs).The MDGs in a numerical order are to Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, Achieve universal primary education, Promote gender equality and empower women, Reduce child mortality, Improve maternal health, Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, Ensure environmental sustainability and Develop a global partnership for development

As we kick off the 21st century, more than one billion people around the world live in extreme poverty. Some 25 million people die from hunger each year, and a billion people lack access to clean drinking water. Nearly half of all Africans live on less than one dollar per day. The figures are numbing; however, a growing number of people including the youth of this generation believe that it is possible to eradicate poverty within the next few decades. Perhaps you might be interested in knowing some facts and figures about the about our world and the MDGs.

Impacts made

Day in and day out together with young people and other interested people around the world, we are making a difference at our local level and ultimately changing the face of the world gradually.

In the past years, Young People We Care (YPWC) has engaged youths in spearheading education on the MDGs and related matters such as; migration whose impact on the youth continue to boggle the minds of policy makers. We do this through responding to calls to involve youth in global events or through our own initiated events. Below are some downloads that will let you know about our projects and the impacts that came out of this events or projects.

1. YOUTH AND GOVERNANCE

Background

Good governance and civic responsibility are basic ingredients for a country’s development. The key principles of good governance include transparency, accountability, and protection of rights under the rule of law, empowering vulnerable groups, as well as enhancing decentralization, participation, and access to information. Governance has a direct impact on young people’s development and their ability to influence social change.

Approaches

In this respect, Young People We Care (YPWC), holds periodic youth capacity development workshops and advocacy campaigns to empower young people with the needed knowledge, skills, and tools that can enhance their capacity to demand transparency and accountability on key issues that pertains to development. This practice has been evident in YPWC’s international youth advocacy and service celebration days such as Global Youth Service Day, International Day of Youth, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, International Migrants Day, etc.

YPWC again inculcates in the youth democratic values and principles for their participation in governance. This is achieved through education of the youth in principles, practices of good governance, and the promotion of their active participation in various levels – local, national and international – of decision-making.

Implementation

This programme benefits from the involvement of educational institutions, religious groups, youth groups/organizations and government entities. The media, including both traditional and new media, has served as a key platform for promoting the concerns of young people in this direction.

2. RESEARCH & CAPACITY BUILDING

Background

YPWC believes that youth are not only the leaders of tomorrow but also the leaders of today in every community and society at large. The kinds of skills, training, and knowledge they acquire today have an impact on their lives at present and in the future, and on their ability to promote development and social change. The youth are the greatest asset of every economy because they form the active labour force in the economy. However, significant numbers of young people are challenged with low self-esteem, little knowledge on basic life issues, lack of problem-solving abilities, and low morale – all of which make these youth apathetic towards community service. Based on the adage that, “Experience is the best teacher” youth are regarded by adults as learners and incompetent in making informed decisions for change. In this regard, age often can be a barrier to participation in key issues that matter for young people’s development. However, evidence from our work in the past five years has demonstrated that young people can initiate, implement, and evaluate development interventions effectively if they are offered the needed capacity development opportunities. This is why YPWC creates various platforms for inter-generational dialogue and mutual understanding to strengthen the capacity of young people and youth organizations towards positive change. It also enhances better understanding of sustainable development policies through activities that enlightens youth and provides them with the necessary skills necessary for influencing positive change – inclusive of: Public Speaking, Time Management, Proposal Writing, Report Writing, etc.

Approach

This initiative is completed with an “inwards out” approach, meaning the staff of YPWC is first trained through these organized sessions. Ultimately, the staff will give presentations and deliver trainings based on their respective strengths and capacities.

Implementation

Forums and platforms that fall in line with YPWC’s mandate supplement thematic programmes and offer opportunity to build the capacity of young people through an inclusive approach with youth leaders and other relevant stakeholders.

3. GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP AND DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION

Background

YPWC’s Global Citizenship and Development Education embraces participatory teaching and learning methods geared towards assisting young people to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that will help them to make decisions on issues that affect them. Young people also learn other global development issues apart from what pertains to their national and local environment, considering our extremely interdependent world of the 21st century. Again, this education exposes young people to global challenges and their responsibility as young leaders of today and tomorrow. YPWC has maintained a core focus on the Millennium Development Goals and how young people can localize and operationalize these internationally agreed goals in their communities.

Approach

In this respect YPWC has created a participatory active learning platform called “YPWC Development Education Club” operating in Ghanaian Basic Schools and communities.

The Clubs focus on providing children with citizenship education on thematic developmental issues such as poverty, migration, gender issues, conflict resolution and peace building, HIV/AIDS, human rights, reproductive health, climate change and environmental sustainability, and advocacy for the achievement of the overall eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The Development Education Clubs (DEC’s) – meet at least two times a month to engage in innovative educational activities and lessons about development and the ways it can be sustained; “Peer Up! Youth Empowering Youth!” – connect with youth internationally; Youth Volunteer Initiative – Establish or seek opportunities for youth (externally and internally) to complete community service; Cultural Education – Organizing volunteers to visit cultural centres to expand their knowledge on the host country.

4. YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND EMPLOYABILITY

Background

The problem of youth unemployment and underemployment is a major development challenge for young people, the private sector, and governments. Employment creation remains a major challenge in many developing countries, including Ghana, and it is the goal of YPWC to provide young people with opportunities for employment.

Research studies show that 80 percent of youth who complete High School are not able to further their education to the tertiary levels due to inadequate employable skills and financial assistance – in terms of those who would like to venture into youth entrepreneurship. In recent times there have been significant numbers of youths who migrate in search of jobs and trade, which in some cases are nonexistent. According to a business survey by YPWC in Ghana, most of the young girls would like to get involved in agriculture (mainly planting of groundnuts, mangos, and rearing of chicken). However the lack of business start-up credit facilities and low knowledge in business plan development yield their dreams unsuccessfully.

Intervention

The program is specifically addressing youth unemployment in Ghanaian local communities, which over the years has triggered crime, illicit activities, and youth migration to the cities in search of jobs and skills development. The numbers of rural-urban migrant youth who leave rural communities for cities like Tamale, Kumasi, and Accra is huge and has negative effects on the community’s socio-economic development. YPWC provides information for young people to enhance their awareness of employment opportunities, implement skills training opportunities, and then seek support for young people to utilize acquired skills.

Thus this programme provides youth with entrepreneurial skills training, mentoring, business opportunity identification, and provision of a small venture start-up loans scheme (SVSLS) to award young people who have viable business ideas to develop their own small-scale ‘blue’ businesses or jobs. Meetings/Trainings are held on the last Saturday of each month. This has the potential to reduce irregular migration while enhancing the capacity of young people to contribute to economic growth locally.

Approach

  • 1. “Be the Change Academy” Pilot – Provide technical support and training to meet entrepreneurial requirements for youth employment.
  • 2. Mobilize young potential entrepreneurs to be empowered through resource persons and provide training in soap making, pomade making, pastries, etc.
  • 3. If funding is not granted, this club could create a network of youth interested in starting their own enterprises. Collectively they could create alternative ways to achieve their goals.
  • 4. Business plan competition leading to selection of best innovative ideas capable of being funded with some grants or loans.

1ST PROGRESS REPORT OF YOUTH ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT

The 1st Progress Report Form outlines the progress made by Youth Enterprise Development. It highlights the challenges the organization faced, while outlining planned project activities and completed activities, as well the positive learning points that were noted throughout the programme. Finally, it provides a breakdown of the expenditures that will be used with the grant money given.

THE GLOBAL YOUTH SERVICE DAY 2013 REPORT

The Global Youth Service Day 2013 Report for Young People We Care outlines YPWC’s participation on this day. YPWC was able to attract the media through radio discussions and had important members of Ghana, including Miss Emega Adeti, Mr. Parker Wilson and Mr. Yussif Abdul-Mummin participate at the launch of the event. School children were engaged, as well a public officials for a successful GYSD 2013.

REPORT ON MEDIA YOUTH CAMPAIGN

The Report on Media Youth Campaign for Young People We Care highlights the important work of YPWC in providing education about environmental concerns to members of the community in Accra, Ghana. Workshops were set up, followed by training sessions that helped youth embark on media campaigns. It outlined the causes and effects of environmental problems, as well as some possible solutions. It is hoped the aims of the Media Youth Project would be far reaching and have a lasting impact on society.