Five ways young people are contributing to their communities

August 11, 2023

Young women in Djibouti take part in a civic tech training.

Photo: UNDP Djibouti

Building social cohesion and peace in Djibouti and Trinidad and Tobago

In a world that is constantly evolving, the role of youth in shaping the future of their communities is more crucial than ever. From advocating for social cohesion and peace to leading initiatives for gender equality, young people are taking charge and making a significant impact.

Here are five roles that the young people are playing in their communities, for a better future for all.

UNDP supports young people across the globe through its Funding Windows, primary thematic funding instrument that ensures the support goes to those who need it the most.

Young people play a vital role in building their communities and creating an inclusive and peaceful environment. Supporting them in developing the knowledge and skills to do so is a step towards them taking that role.

In Djibouti, young women are developing skills in civic tech to enhance their role as social cohesion promoters and contribute to transformative changes in building social contracts. 87 young women and 18 associations have successfully conducted activities to prevent inter-community violence, discourage school dropouts and drug consumption among young people, and promote environmental safeguarding.

Through the Peace Innovation Challenge in Trinidad and Tobago, more than 100 submissions were received from women, youth organizations and individuals. These proposals focused on promoting peace at the community level, with the best ideas receiving grants to implement them. 

Man bending over tyres

Young entrepreneurs are rising to the many global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and changing economic landscapes.

Photo: UNDP Mali

Securing work opportunities in Mali, Burkina Faso & Mauritania

Young people face the consequences of many global challenges such as the aftermath of the pandemic, the climate crisis and changing economic landscapes disproportionately, affecting their possibilities to gain decent employment and start their own businesses. Creating jobs opportunities for youth and building the skills of young people to start their own businesses is also opening up paths for economic empowerment and steering people away from radicalism, that often offers lucrative pathways for the disfranchised.

MOURAVAGHA is a national support system for young unemployed graduates in Mauritania. More than 9000 young graduates are developing their job search and application skills. The students were also placed in companies through internships that offer them job opportunities at the end.

Various cash-for-work projects provided job opportunities for more than 1,800+ young people in Mali and Burkina Faso. The young people, including women and youth that have been affected by crisis, engaged in waste management & collection activities as well as other public work programs. In the Seytenga and Falagountou communes of Burkina Faso, young people gained more income and secured loans for further activities.

Conflict in Ethiopia has affected peoples' lives and how they earn their livings.

Photo: UNDP Ethiopia

Acquiring skills for a better future in Ethiopia and Morocco

Young people’s creativity can open doors for a better future for all. Enabling young people to turn their ideas into reality, whether they be projects, policies or businesses, benefits both the young people and their communities. Entrepreneurship and vocational skills training can enable young people to open their own businesses. 

The conflict in Ethiopia has affected the lives and livelihoods of both people and their businesses. Many rural youth are unemployed and have dropped out of school and are now without a job and source of income. This makes them vulnerable. Some 345 young people are now creating jobs for other youth after developing their skills in local businesses and receiving start-up capital. More than 400 women and young people, including survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, trained in vocational skills that would help them increase their income.

Youth Aspirations and Abilities to Advance Nationwide Innovation project works with young Moroccan leaders to support them develop social innovations and businesses that tackle the most pressing challenges in their communities. Among the most sought-after skills among young people are leadership and emotional intelligence as well as business innovation. Through extensive training and mentoring, 150 young people developed their skills. 

Fighting gender-based violence in Chad and Colombia

Young people are advocates for issues they are passionate about. They campaign and raise their voices in social media, organize events, and spread awareness. 

In Chad and Colombia, more than 500 young people used their voices to fight gender-based violence. 

A university advocacy contest gathered stories from students, inspiring others to join the movement in Chad. As a result, a campaign raised awareness of more than 19,000 people around women’s rights and gender-based violence.

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Colombia, young people talked about the prevention of violence in an online campaign, reaching thousands of views on social media. 

Women in wheat field

Raneem, 20, from Deir ez-Zour, Syria has been able to reclaim her farmland thanks to support from UNDP.

Photo: UNDP Syria

Rehabilitating farmlands in Syria

Young people play many roles in their societies, from the fields to the parliaments. 

One of these young people is Raneem, 20, from Syria[. She is one of the 54 farmers who were able to reclaim their land through a well rehabilitation programme, that helped them to make the land fertile again. This has created an income for more than 2,000 labourers.

“We had no hope before the wells were rehabilitated. The land is now fertile. We plant different crops every season. We are also hiring other women to support us during harvest." -  Raneem 

Supporting young people through Funding Windows

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is not possible without young people. 

UNDP continues to support youth across the globe through its Funding Windows, its primary thematic funding instrument to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

"The young people were supported through the Governance, Peacebuilding, Crisis and Resilience Window in 2022 with our partners Denmark, Luxembourg, Republic of Korea, Sweden, and Switzerland. Together, we aim to create an environment where young people can thrive and have a say at the future of themselves and their communities."


Read more about the Funding Windows in our website and annual report: