Innovation and Good Practice Resource Book - 8th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting

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Young men and women under the age of 30 currently make up over 60 per cent of the Commonwealth’s population. By 2015, there will be three billion young people in the world, with 2.5 billion living in developing countries. Indicators as well as recent global events highlight the fact that young women and men will be exposed to more challenges and inequities than any other social group in terms of access to health and education, unemployment and social conflict and inequality. However, young people are more empowered than ever before, and youth led organisations and initiatives are driving change, particularly through the large increase in social media use. Aside from their material and intellectual contributions, young people offer unique aptitudes and perspectives that must be assimilated into the broader development paradigm and translated into effective action on the ground. Unfortunately, negative perceptions of youth, the failure to help them develop to their full potential, the inability to recognise that investing in youth benefits national development, and the consequent unwillingness and incapacity of society to fully involve young people in a meaningful way have effectively deprived the world of a resource of inestimable value. This book of case studies has been created for release at the 8th Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting in Papua New Guinea in 2013, with the theme ‘Young People at the Centre of Sustainable Development’. It provides case studies from a broad range of developing and developed countries and in a variety of settings across the Commonwealth. The organisations and projects demonstrate innovative ideas and approaches to youth empowerment, at local, national or regional levels, and across many areas of development, including health care, political empowerment, youth participation, economic empowerment and income generating activities, skills building projects and sports for development initiatives.

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