• Youth in the UN

    Learn more about the work of the UN with and for Youth

  • UNICEF and Youth

    Voices of Youth Platform

    Voices of Youth (VOY) was founded in 1995 as UNICEF’s online place for young people to learn more about issues affecting their world. VOY was recently redesigned for a more modern youth audience and is now the go-to place where you can know more, learn more and do more about our world! You can share your thoughts and opinions with thousands of people from all over the world. You can also discuss social issues such as Education, Environment or Violence and Conflict and inform yourself about HIV/AIDS, Health or Human Rights.

    Voices of Youth Connect

    Who they are

    Voices of Youth Connect promotes cross-cultural interactions between adolescents from different countries, helping them learn to work together, develop their communication and computer skills, define and articulate their positions on global advocacy issues, and become engaged global citizens. Voices of Youth Connect aims to provide youth who are excluded from the global debate with the skills and access to knowledge, methods and tools they need to realize their rights and make an impact on their communities.

    Where they are

    Voices of Youth Connect currently works with schools and community centres in remote rural settings as well as low-income urban areas in different countries in Africa – Liberia (in-school project focusing on the theme of peace-building), Madagascar (environmental conservation project), South Africa (radio project) and Zambia (in-school project focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention and life skills). New countries from around the world join the project every year.

    What we do

    Voices of Youth Connect seeks to help young people develop into active global citizens equipped to communicate and collaborate effectively to make a positive difference in their communities. The Voices of Youth Connect project is designed as follows:

    • Structured learning: Following a specific set of project-based activities, participants explore a variety of themes.
    • Multimedia production: Participants create multimedia products to address specific problems.
    • Online sessions: Participants share their work with the global community on the Voices of Youth Connect online platform, allowing their peers in other locations to view and comment, adding their own perspectives on the issue addressed.
    • Community outreach: Once youth participants have made a global impact with their media products, they are encouraged to reach out to their respective communities and organize activities to raise awareness on a specific issue.

    Voices of Youth Citizens

    Who they are

    All around the world, more and more young people are engaging with social media and digital tools. This is done through computers and – increasingly – through mobile phones.
    In response, Voices of Youth Citizens gathers timely and relevant information to help young people, policymakers and the public at large understand the opportunities and risks that social media and digital tools present to young people.

    Where they are

    Voices of Youth Citizens is focused on young people from many different countries around the world. Currently we are working to understand the digital landscape and to promote responsible use of digital tools in Argentina, Armenia, Indonesia, Kenya, the Russian Federation, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, Viet Nam and Zambia.
    New countries are continuously joining Voices of Youth Citizens, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated here.

    What they do

    The Voices of Youth Citizens project has three important stages. First, we survey the digital landscape in each country – looking at how many young people have access, which platforms and activities are the most popular, and what the risks and opportunities are for young users.

    To find out all this information, we rely on both existing and new research. Once we have the knowledge, we then produce reports, videos, animations and other materials to raise awareness. We also hold meetings and conferences with youth, leaders in government, academics, digital companies and many others to discuss how we can all work together to make the digital world better and more accessible – as well as safer – for all young people.

    Voices of Youth Maps

    Who they are

    For youth living in vulnerable communities, Voices of Youth Maps provides a tailored technology platform to help enhance critical thinking skills, create targeted maps and facilitate communication about their living conditions. Through a guided process and training, youth are empowered to use social and other digital media to confront important issues in their communities and advocate for change.

    Where they are

    Brazil and Haiti have already joined Voices of Youth Maps. In Brazil, adolescents mapped various communities to point out environmental issues, whereas in Haiti, the initiative focused on identifying the risks and vulnerabilities of adolescents to HIV infection and sexual abuse. Voices of Youth Maps seeks to expand globally, bring forward the collective voices of young people and create change in the lives of many.

    What they do

    Through participatory trainings and activities, Voices of Youth Maps enables young people to collect actionable data on issues affecting their communities. Aggregated reports serve as a powerful tool to promote interventions by the community and its leaders to achieve desired changes.
    Young people are introduced to the concept of digital mapping and its use for youth empowerment and community change. They receive instructions on the use of UNICEF-GIS – an information gathering platform that produces maps and visual reports on youth-related issues through Web and mobile applications.
    The information is verified by UNICEF and shared through online channels and offline outreach to generate collective action for positive community transformation.

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