'Youth 4 Youth' aims to develop skills and capacity of 300 Ukrainian orphans through education, training and volunteer activities. The program will become catalyst for a change to help unprivileged youth leaving institutional care learn, work, and lead. Care-leavers aged 15-23 will become equipped with leadership and professional skills needed to become active and contributing citizens. They will also be empowered with an opportunity to serve as the agents of social change in their communities.
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 newborns are abandoned by the care-leavers. 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 developing leadership potential and marketable skills that prospective employers are seeking; (2) youth apply skills in peer-to-peer work using training course handouts, which nurture their new-found capacities; (3) 20 of the most active young leaders are rewarded with scholarship offering participation in the Youth Summit. Orphans are instantly connected with the wider network of educational and employment opportunities.
This project break the cycle of despair, it creates a generation of confident and well-balanced civic rights leaders instead of being "underprivileged" as society tend to label them. 300 orphans between the age of 15-18 (7,5% of the total amount of care-leavers each year) will be educated and trained to discover their leadership potential. By reaching out local communities they will be empowered to create a real impact for a better tomorrow not only for themselves but for their peers as well.