Friday, October 24, 2008

Y2Y Global Youth Conference 2008

In Conjunction with the United Nations Week celebrations this year, the Youth-to-Youth Community (Y2Y) of the World Bank organized the 'Y2Y' Global Youth Conference 2008 held at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Y2Y is a community of young staff within the World Bank, its' mission is to mainstream youth issues within the World Bank and the broader development community and to engage with young people around the world through a participatory and demand driven approach. The conference is one of Y2Y’s main products and is organized by a dedicated and enthusiastic network of Y2Y volunteers. In previous years, the conference has attracted audiences of more than 300 individuals from around the world.

The conference discussed the holistic approach to youth development necessary to address the growing educational and employment needs of youth. The conference highlighted the importance of this approach by promoting a dialogue among various stakeholders on how to equip youth with the adequate tools and competencies that will enable them to earn a dignified livelihood while positively impacting their communities.

The theme of the conference – Empowering a Generation: Developing Skills and Capacities in Youth – emphasized the urgency to focus on and invest in the needs of young people the world over. The conference sessions featured organizations from Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East. Representatives from these organizations presented their key projects and engaged in discussions on the challenges, constraints and successes experienced during the implementation and evaluation of their work.

One of the programs highlighted was 'The Girl Effect' —a collaboration between the World Bank, several governments, and the private sector to promote the economic empowerment of adolescent girls in poor and post-conflict countries. Stuart Hogue, Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Nike Foundation spoke about how empowering women is fundamental for a country's overall economic stability and prosperity highlighting that "The greatest resource in breaking the cycle of poverty is the adolescent girl."

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