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Youth voice

There's more to us than you think...

The YMCA isn’t just about sports and the great outdoors—we also act as a spokesperson, or a voice, for youth.

From mental health, to housing, to child protection—YMCA National’s goal is to build a cohesive voice of self-determination for youth empowerment.

Our advocacy work is designed to influence public policy and political actions at all levels of society. We invite you to participate.

Advocacy is how we address the untold story of injustice against young people. Often these challenges are complex and varied. Our global research has identified the biggest needs in the areas of employment, health, civic engagement and the environment.

The World YMCA acknowledges the importance of supporting the voice of young people to enhance our ability to empower more young people from more communities around the world.

The YMCA is committed to providing safe supportive spaces in which dialogue and engagement on youth advocacy challenges can take place. The YMCA movement will continue to guarantee that a youth voice is heard and understood at global events of relevance to young people.


YMCA NZ

The YMCA is active in 119 countries worldwide. With over 58 million members, the YMCA is the largest youth charity in the world. The YMCA has had a massive impact on youth empowerment across New Zealand and the Globe. The numbers say it all. You can see more stats by downloading our latest IMPACT report, showing the real-life impact of the YMCA.

IMPACT Report
YMCA's 4 strategic international advocacy areas
Child protection

Health

Child protection
Health

Health is seen as an issue for young people, particularly in the area of mental health. For many young people, good relationships with their loved ones are the precondition for personal happiness and helping them through difficult periods. Being able to solve problems and build resilience means becoming stronger. Yet young people see a severe lack in resources and support services for mental health issues in both developed and developing countries. Integrated services into schooling is seen as essential for addressing rising rates in poor mental health. YMCA advocates for these issues on a global and local level.

Health is seen as an issue for young people, particularly in the area of mental health. For many young people, good relationships with their loved ones are...

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Child protection
X

Health is seen as an issue for young people, particularly in the area of mental health. For many young people, good relationships with their loved ones are the precondition for personal happiness and helping them through difficult periods. Being able to solve problems and build resilience means becoming stronger. Yet young people see a severe lack in resources and support services for mental health issues in both developed and developing countries. Integrated services into schooling is seen as essential for addressing rising rates in poor mental health. YMCA advocates for these issues on a global and local level.

Youth Development

Employment

Youth Development
Employment

Research shows that young people are very critical of the education system as it does not empower them or teach them skills needed for the current job market. They want respect and a personalised approach to learning. YMCA advocates for accessible, practical and skills-based education.

Youth also believe that a ‘good job’ should be a place for personal development and wellbeing and a job with a high salary and high stress is not worth it.

The average unemployment level globally is twice as high for young people. Young people are willing to work, the most important indicators of a good job are satisfaction, self-development and wellbeing, followed by stability and salary.

Volunteer work is also recognised as not being a guaranteed ticket into the workforce. The YMCA advocates for creating stable workplaces that offer ‘flexicurity’ a new approach to modern workplaces; and supporting youth entrepreneurship.

Research shows that young people are very critical of the education system as it does not empower them or teach them skills needed for the current job market. They want respect and a personalised approach to learning.

Read more

Youth Development
X

Research shows that young people are very critical of the education system as it does not empower them or teach them skills needed for the current job market. They want respect and a personalised approach to learning. YMCA advocates for accessible, practical and skills-based education.

Youth also believe that a ‘good job’ should be a place for personal development and wellbeing and a job with a high salary and high stress is not worth it.

The average unemployment level globally is twice as high for young people. Young people are willing to work, the most important indicators of a good job are satisfaction, self-development and wellbeing, followed by stability and salary.

Volunteer work is also recognised as not being a guaranteed ticket into the workforce. The YMCA advocates for creating stable workplaces that offer ‘flexicurity’ a new approach to modern workplaces; and supporting youth entrepreneurship.

Youth empowerment

Environment

Youth empowerment
Environment

Campaigns have effectively raised environmental awareness but at a local level little is being done. The research shows that young people are aware of global issues, but they only see solutions at a macro level for government and big corporations and a micro level such as personal responsibility in recycling and saving water. There is a huge gap in how to influence their communities to be more sustainable at a local level.

Campaigns have effectively raised environmental awareness but at a local level little is being done. The research shows that young people are aware of global issues, but they only see solutions at a macro level for government and...

Read more

Youth empowerment
X

Campaigns have effectively raised environmental awareness but at a local level little is being done. The research shows that young people are aware of global issues, but they only see solutions at a macro level for government and big corporations and a micro level such as personal responsibility in recycling and saving water. There is a huge gap in how to influence their communities to be more sustainable at a local level.