NEWTON, MA | September 8, 2003
The Youth Employment Summit (YES) celebrated the first anniversary of its global campaign by congratulating organizers of YES initiatives in 25 countries, who have launched skills development programs, entrepreneurial training workshops, and scholarships for underprivileged youth since the YES Alexandria in Egypt last September.
“Every day, we hear new success stories from around the world,” said Poonam Ahluwalia, Executive Director of YES, a global initiative of Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in the United States. “YES Country Networks have been established in 60 countries and several youth leaders have organized their own businesses, training programs, and non-governmental organizations with our support. Their leadership is inspiring to all of us.”
Some examples of YES Country Network activities:
- YES Honduras launched a US $80,000 project funded by the USAID in February 2003.
- YES Pakistan initiated the Pakistani National Youth Service (PNYS) to promote the participation of youth in societal change and development.
- YES Romania set up a Youth Employment Center that offers office skills training, career guidance, peer mentoring, job search support, internships with local businesses.
“One of the key themes emerging from the Alexandria Summit was the need to prepare youth to act as creators of sustainable employment in their own nations,” said Janet Whitla, President of EDC and a member of the YES Organizing Committee. “It’s amazing and gratifying to see how quickly ideas generated at the Summit have been translated into concrete actions in countries around the world.”
The Youth Employment Summit was held in Alexandria, Egypt from September 7th to 11th, 2002. It was a capstone of a four-year planning process and a launching pad for the decade campaign for youth employment. The Summit was co-chaired by H.E. Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, First Lady of Egypt, and Hon. William J. Clinton, US President (1992 –2000). More than 1600 delegates from 120 countries launched the YES Campaign under the banner of 6Es: Employability, Employment Creation, Equity, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Sustainability, and Empowerment of Youth.
The YES Campaign is organizing two major global events in the next 18 months: a regional forum will be held from December 14-18, 2003 in Hyderabad, India hosted by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh; and the first milestone event of the Campaign, YES Mexico, will be held in November 2004. Both events will review the progress of the YES Campaign and strengthen commitment at all levels to take the actions needed to create sustainable livelihoods for youth.
In recognition of the first anniversary, several organizations and partners reaffirmend their commitment to the YES Campaign, including UNESCO: “UNESCO is proud to be associated with the Youth Employment Summit (YES), on this very happy occasion of its first birthday,” said Maria Helena Henriques Mueller, Coordinator of UNESCO’s Youth Coordination Unit. “UNESCO is very much aware of the importance of creating opportunities to allow young people greater access to employment, and considers YES an important element of achieving this aim.”