The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people. Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil-society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts of change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities. IYF currently works in over 70 countries and the following story includes highlights from one of our programs.
Growing up as a young girl in Zimbabwe, Fortune got the impression women weren’t meant to be entrepreneurs. Now a successful poultry farmer, Fortune and the Zimbabwe:Works (Z:W) program that helped her identify and reach her goals, are dispelling popular stereotypes of what the nation’s youth can achieve. Fortune received life skills and entrepreneurship training, along with access to financing, to start her business.
Initially funded through its first phase by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Zimbabwe:Works (Z:W) offers unemployed youth, ages 16 to 35, a menu of options, including life skills training, entrepreneurship development, access to finance, and civic leadership opportunities. Recognizing that there is no magic bullet in solving the nation’s youth livelihood needs, the program pursues an integrated, holistic approach firmly rooted in developing the capacity of local partners to deliver services.
Now entering a second phase, the program has brought together USAID and the Department for International Development (DFID) in the U.K. in a dynamic partnership to expand these services to thousands more young Zimbabweans. Over the next three years, IYF and its partners will provide increased economic opportunities for youth—with a particular focus on young Zimbabwean women—by creating improved pathways for young people to get jobs, access financial services, and start their own enterprises.
In this video watch as Fortune and Talent share what they have achieved through the program. They are two of the 8,500 youth reached through the IYF program—so far.