The YMCA set out to hear from the world's Young People

To hear their views and to better understand their needs, with the view to helping give the young people of the world a voice.

To achieve this, the World YMCA reached out to young people aged 15-24 through local YMCAs, across the globe in over 60 countries.

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Executive Summary

This Report brings together the voices of young people.

We want you to help empower young people by listening to their voices. Youth Empowerment is the DNA of the YMCA. But what is youth empowerment? This definition is a good place to start. It is the result of the 2011 youth-led research in forming the global YMCA ‘OUR WAY’ Strategy.

“To give youth the platform and tools they need (whatever that may be, depending on the young person’s starting point) to feel needed, trusted, and able to believe in possibilities, to further trust themselves to lead and believe they can make a difference, thereby becoming a change maker in the world.”

Surprisingly, the voices are consistent amongst young people around the globe. From developed or developing countries. City or rural. Tertiary educated or not.<

We heard that young people’s largest information needs are in the areas of job opportunities and job requirements. They spoke of the importance of volunteering and human rights. Mental and psychological health and sexual and reproductive health are also very important. Interestingly, the areas of politics and the environment were spoken of with far less importance.

Young people shared that the most important areas for them were in employment, health, civic engagement and the environment.

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YMCA One Million Voices is the YMCA's first global research programme.

The research Report   - What we need now - speaks to the YMCA's heart for empowering young people, as well as detailing the professional research components. The Report realises the YMCAs intention to hear from young people and to establish future strategies for greater relevance and impact with young people everywhere.

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