Transformative Power of Building Youth Skills

Youth in Action

Save the Children

International Youth Day (IYD) took place on 12th August, and this year was dedicated to celebrating young peoples contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice and sustainable peace. Save the Children's Youth in Action programme believes youth economic empowerment is key for sustainable peace, by providing young people with the skills and capabilities to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Many young people across the world have dreams and aspirations which are difficult or impossible to achieve, due to lack of access to education, skills training, resources and support. Extreme inequality can create hopelessness and frustration, leading many young people into harmful and dangerous situations. 

The Youth in Action (YiA)  programme is one way that Save the Children is helping young people successfully transition to decent livelihoods and work, break the cycle of poverty and promote peaceful family and community environments. YiA supports 40,000 rural out-of-school girls and boys in Africa to develop a set of foundational and life skills to enable a pathway to establish a livelihood initiative and escape poverty.

YiA participants receive training to improve their literacy, numeracy, financial literacy and other practical entrepreneurial skills. They develop greater self-confidence, problem solving, conflict resolution, negiotiation, communication, and collaboration skills that transcend business transactions.

Through the activities of YiA, young people are supported in their ambitions to be real agents of change in their own lives and within the community.


Meet Welfred, Teresa, Anita & Edson, four youth who graduated from YiA program and want to share with us some of the skills they learnt. They are now more actively engaged in working with their communities to make them better places for themselves, their families and the broader society. These kinds of attitudes and behaviors help mitigate and prevent situations that cause conflict in any society.

We always meet to share ideas and mentor each other on how to use our new skills to develop our future businesses and benefit our community
— Teresa, Malawi

Programmes like YiA are helping to foster resilience and determination in young people by enhancing youths’ foundational skills and social assets, and increasing "prosperity in peaceful ways".

Click HERE  to read the accompanying blog 'Youth Skills for Peace' by Patricia Erb, President and Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Canada.

To find out more about YiA visit the website where you can also sign up to their newsletter.