On this year's World Habitat Day, UN-Habitat is proud to announce the Urban Youth Fund grantees for 2012, totaling $750,000 for forty-one youth-led projects in thirty-six countries.
Briquette making process
These projects will contribute to the I am a City Changer campaign through the impact of their work on sustainable development in cities, and the larger theme of World Habitat Day, Changing cites, building opportunities for marginalized urban youths. Many of the selected projects will tackle combined development issues and will actively engage local governments and other actors to ensure their sustainability and a greater impact. UN-Habitat believes that these projects will help create opportunities for young people, and will provide them with the means to become actors of change in society.
The UN-Habitat Urban Youth Fund gives funding (up to $25 000) to projects led by youth who are piloting innovative approaches to employment, good urban governance Started in 2009, 213 youth-led agencies in the developing world have been funded for approximately USD3.5 million. By focusing on younger urban populations, the Programme promotes development initiatives for better, more sustainable and equitable towns and cities throughout the developing world.
This year the Urban Youth Fund received over 5000 applications from all over the world, with an increased number of applications from the Middle East and North Africa region, as well as Latin America. Most importantly, these projects show the desire and innovation by young people to become agents of change within their communities and countries.
One past winner, Garbage is wealth and Work is a project of the Voi Youth Forum (VYF) based in Voi Town, Kenya. Its main objective is to create both environmental and economic sustainability through waste management. Currently families in Voi dispose of their waste by burning it, putting it in a landfill or throwing it on the ground. 132 young people, 61 of whom are women, have been trained in the making of compost, plastic poles, roofing tiles, natural pesticides, briquettes and woven bags. Combined with this they receive training on the development businesses, assuring that the advancement of the youth involved and the community.
Helping Urban Neglected Youth is a project of the Endurance Youth Association (EYA) which is a non-for-profit organization that is concerned with and working towards empowering marginalized youth in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The association has worked with more than 40 youth on how to develop their own business plans. They were given training in skills such as team building, leadership and financial and organizational management. From this training, 30 youth-run enterprises have been created, leading to the improvement of the lives of the youth and their communities.
These projects have enormous potential in tackling the issues young people are facing due to rapid urbanization in the developing world. The wide range of youth-led initiatives comprehensively focuses on the seven thematic areas on which UN Habitat works, namely Urban Economy, Urban Planning & Design, Urban Basic Services, Urban Legislation, Land & Governance, Risk Reduction & Rehabilitation, Research & Capacity Development and Housing & Slum Upgrading.
UN-Habitat wishes to thank all the organizations which have applied for the Fund and for their keen interest and involvement in improving the lives of many young people within their communities and countries. UN-Habitat is looking forwarding to working with the 41 beneficiaries and making them integral partners and City Changers.
Click here for the full list of grantees in 2012.