We create environments and platforms that allow young people to participate in conversations around their livelihoods, pursue their dreams and aspirations and take action to improve their own well-being.
We believe if young people are supported to earn an income and access resources, they can sustain their own livelihoods and actively seek out new economic opportunities.
Young people aged 16-35 are the most vulnerable group in society. They are heavily impacted by poverty and often face barriers such as low education, unemployment, social discrimination and inequality, as well as increasingly having to deal with the effects of climate change.
Young people often have limited access to services and may lack the appropriate skills to be able to gain decent job opportunities.
From our work, we recognise the huge potential of our youth in economic development. Our global programme is designed to address the barriers that prevent youths from accessing decent work and empower them to become active agents of change.
How VSO supports youth
We advocate for the creation of decent green jobs and raise awareness about the rights of young people and promote social accountability between young people and their communities.
We design and implement programmes that mentor individuals in how to start-up businesses and give them access to financial services and digital technology, provided through partnerships with local youth-centred groups. Our programmes are informed through field-testing and building guidelines around the barriers that stop young people from accessing decent jobs.
We also empower young people through our youth networks. These connect young people together who want to work to influence policies and promote systematic changes that allow for the creation of inclusive and decent jobs.
Our work in youth empowerment
Strengthen green youth-led start-ups in Kenya to create decent jobs through waste recovery.
Ensuring that everyone has access to decent employment and market opportunities.
Equipping Uganda's large youth population with the skills they need to work in the country's growing oil and gas sectors.
When Sue Howes returned to Uganda 40 years after first volunteering there, she found a country still nursing the wounds left by war, extremism, disease and despotism. Compelled to do something, Sue and her husband Greg founded a project that would help communities build themselves back up.
Uganda's huge youth population has the potential to lift the country out of poverty, but only if high levels of unemployment can be reduced. VSO volunteers are stepping up to help, and changing lives in the process.
Other areas where we work
Green jobs are jobs that: reduce consumption of energy and raw materials, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimise waste and pollution and protect and restore ecosystems.
Promoting women’s right to adequate food, women's control over their incomes and developing climate resilient agriculture.