Six out of ten young people in poor countries stand without either job or school offerings.

Lack of access to a functioning labor market, education and necessary health services is among the greatest hindrances for fulfilling young peoples’ human rights. Lack of equality and sexual rights is also a problem in several of the countries we work in. Girls are forced into early marriages and pregnancies.

More than 500 million young people struggle to survive on under 2 dollars a day. However, there is also decreasing correspondence between education and the job market, which leaves us with a large number of educated young people without any real job opportunities that reflect their competences.

There is conspicuously little development work and political investment that is actually directed at (and to an even lesser extent, that includes) young people. This, in spite of the fact that our day’s young generation is the largest in world history, and one of the groups that are most exposed to poverty today (link in Norwegian).

Young people need work and income to build stable societies and establish their own families, but future opportunities in the countryside are considered to be poor. Agriculture creates few attractive and income-generating job opportunities for young people, many of whom migrate to the cities or to other countries for want of jobs. Young people, and particularly young women, have fewer opportunities for democratic expression than adults, and are more rarely listened to.

How does the Development Fund work with young people?

Young people are a large part of the population in the countries we work in. The Development Fund seeks to strengthen young people’s rights and to create attractive opportunities in local communities, where young people can contribute to local value creation. Through our partners, we offer training in leadership, advocacy and organization work. In this way we play a part in the creation of tomorrow’s leaders. We make efforts to include more young people in local management forums, so they also take part in decision making in their local communities. We work to improve conditions at schools and to give young people access to vocational training.