'Youth 4 Youth' aims to empower disadvantaged young people to serve as the agents of social change for their peers and communities. By developing a network of youth clubs the project helps unprivileged youth (first of all care-leavers) to fulfill their social rights and advocate for their peers. Young people become equipped with professional and leadership skills needed to become active and contributing citizens.
Not only do orphans leaving institutional care in Ukraine lack skills needed for everyday life in the community, but they also rarely have any prospects. Without further education or qualification, they are unable to find employment; this pushes them to engage in criminal activities. No accommodation is the main reason why care-leavers abandon their newborns. Rigorous Soviet-era childcare system breeds new generations of orphans. This vicious circle must be broken.
The project works in three ways: (1) it provides integrated training enhancing awareness about social and civil rights, developing respectful interpersonal, professional and leadership skills; (2) it establishes a nation-wide network of mutual support and experience-sharing in the form of youth clubs; (3) it advocates for vulnerable young people and disseminates best practices of youth work.
This project breaks the cycle of despair and creates a generation of confident leaders who can advocate for their peers, instead of accepting the label of "underprivileged" developed by the society. Over 800 young people between 15 and 18 years old have already received training, which helped them discover their personal and leadership potential. They are empowered to create a real impact for a better tomorrow not only for themselves but also for their peers and communities.