Powering Change – Global Youth Mobilization Interim Report

10 March 2022
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Global Youth Mobilization launches a new impact report, “Powering Change: Young People Leading the COVID-19 Response and Recovery”.

About the Global Youth Mobilization

The Global Youth Mobilization (GYM), launched in December 2020, is a movement of young people taking action to improve their lives and their communities now and in a post-COVID 19 world.

Powered by the Big Six – the world’s largest global youth organizations – and supported by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Foundation, GYM aims to harness this momentum to address the negative impact of the pandemic on young people and support them to build back better.

With support from the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, Global Youth Mobilization is supporting and scaling-up youth-led solutions, reinventing funding models and reenergising youth engagement programmes across the world.

Powering Change: Young People Leading the COVID-19 Response and Recovery – Interim Report

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In February 2022, GYM launched a new impact report, “Powering Change: Young People Leading the COVID-19 Response and Recovery”, to highlight the reach and investment in young people globally to date.

An estimated 1.2 billion young people have been impacted by the negative effects of the pandemic. COVID-19 response measures, though necessary, have exacerbated disruptions to education and youth employment opportunities, access to services and social support and added to an increase in gender-based violence cases.

Since the launch of the GYM, the initiative has achieved the following:

  • Financed projects directly engaging nearly 200,000 young people in developing and implementing activities supporting over 800,000 community beneficiaries.
  • Invested $600,000 in 183 youth-led projects in 41 countries and funded 74 National Projects with 1.2 million USD across the Big Six in 56 countries to date.
  • Focused on scaling up interventions in four key themes:
    • Overcoming the impacts on mental and physical health challenges caused by lockdowns by providing training programmes, recreational spaces, and access to professional support by supporting over 20,000 young people
    • Directly engaged 52,000 peers in their communities to overcome gender inequality and combat domestic and gender-based violence worsened by lockdowns.
    • Youth-led solutions have helped over 480,000 people overcome education disruption and employability challenges caused by lockdowns through training, coaching, and access to key resources like books and digital devices.
    • Supported young people to become key figures in their communities, supporting with COVID-19 prevention measures by distributing masks and debunking myths about the virus and vaccines, helping over 300,000 people in their communities.

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The report represents an important milestone for the Big Six’s collaboration and is the first operational partnership at a global scale between the six world-leading youth-focused organisations. It also demonstrates the power of youth-led, collective decision-making and the importance of implementing new and accessible funding opportunities for youth development.

Commenting on the report, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said:

“WHO is proud to support the global movement to engage and empower young people as a driving force in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with the Big Six and the United Nations Foundation has provided a unique opportunity to learn from millions of young people and be guided by their enthusiasm and ideas to help communities build back better.

What the Big Six have achieved in a year through launching and implementing the Global Youth Mobilization is phenomenal and unparalleled in the youth development sector. We look forward to continuing our support and encourage other partners to join the mobilization and invest in the health and well-being of future generations.”

Commenting on the impact of WAGGGS involvement with GYM, Helga Mutasingwa, WAGGGS GYM Youth Board Representative said:

“Through the Global Youth Mobilisation, young people have taken the lead in supporting their communities to recover from COVID-19. In just one year we have had a huge reach - 18 WAGGGS Member Organisations alone have helped over 308,000 people - and we are immensely proud of this achievement. GYM has shown that through listening to young people and providing us with the space and resources to take action we can make a huge impact.”

The report, which includes case studies of global youth-led projects, highlights a series of policy recommendations for multinational agencies and institutions, governments, policymakers and corporations to address and prioritise the needs of young people and future generations.

You can read the full report and the executive summary here.

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