YouthAssets facilitates the use of technology for knowledge exchange to empower youth-headed households in Southern Africa so they have access to resources and can make informed choices about their future.
- Commitment to change, to action, and to results
- Participatory activities that are inclusive of diverse communities
- Evolving and sustainable work that continually looks to the future
- Positive and enjoyable interactions that result in fun
- Honesty, integrity, and transparency in all undertakings
- Constantly learning and listening
We are youth-centered: youth are viewed as active participants in their own care and as contributors of meaningful knowledge – we let youth determine the best solutions and support them.
We focus on communication and knowledge management: the newest technology to connect the world’s most vulnerable youth to resources and information that they need.
Our solutions are sustainable: our projects focus on financial sustainability – designing projects that generate income both for youth and the organization.
We work with partners: collaboration is critical as youth need comprehensive support from multiple stakeholders including those from international NGOs, government agencies, local service providers, and other youth.
YouthAssets believes solutions should come from youth themselves and intends to undertake the following projects
Perform a needs assessment in Swaziland, which was chosen as a pilot country for its small geographic area, homogenous languages (siSwati and English) and for the number of existing connections within the country. In November 2007, YouthAssets performed site visits, NGO and orphan interviews, and participated in a regional collaborative conference on sustainable strategies for orphans and other vulnerable children.
In July and August of 2008, YouthAssets will perform the second stage of interviews with youth-headed households.
Assemble a YouthAssets Youth Advisory Council of ten youth ages 13 to 24 who will provide input on the development of YouthAssets’ programs and will pilot test program models and hardware through conference calls via cell phone.
Through local and international partner organizations, youth will have access to interactive knowledge tools and income generation opportunities through cell phones. Projects include:
- Develop, with local partners, interactive knowledge applications based on the needs and ideas provided by youth. These knowledge tools will be used by youth to access and share information needed to address existing barriers and solutions.
- Develop, with youth, income generating ideas using cell phones to start their own businesses.
Using data collected from the youth through their cell phones, information will be aggregated and shared with those working to support these youth.
YouthAssets is looking ahead, developing a proof-of-concept using the new Google Android operating system for handsets. Information used on the phones can be shared, and combined with geographical information, to be a powerful tool for NGOs to assess and distribute resources most efficiently and to be held accountable.