We understand that young people, a large, diverse and growing group of people the world over, have the right to development and the right to participation. And while the two are different, development and participation go hand in hand.

We respect that fact that the capacities, perceptions, and needs of young people vary dramatically. We also fully recognise that age combined with individual interest and ability play a strong role in determining how young people can enrich lifespaces – their own and in their surroundings.

We know that as a group young people face diverse challenges, barriers and injustices, which take different forms based on the context a young person is coming from. While for many it takes the form of social pressures to conform to traditional roles at the cost of personal motivations and interests, for others it takes forms of overt deprivation, subjugation and victimisation.

We also recognise that youth work can be approached from two different perspectives – a deficit approach or an asset approach. We value the latter with the deep belief that young people are partners in development and only need a channel and opportunities to make decisions, overcome barriers and lead change – in their own lives and in their surroundings.

Therefore we design programmes and processes that invest in young people and create opportunities for them to realise their potentials and bring about positive change not just in themselves but in the world around them. We ensure that we establish expectations for success in keeping with a young person’s context, promote empowerment and independence and set in motion forces for positive change. We strive to build their meaningful engagement as co-voyagers and partners at all stages of our work.

Overall, we work with young people to ensure that they build on their strengths and develop attitudes, values, and skills they need to lead rich lives, participate meaningfully in processes that impact their own lives and their surroundings positively and work in their own terms.

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(Below) Hear volunteers, Mittika, VSO share about YCS, a youth programme, its impact and the experience.