Canada based MasterCard Foundation yesterday released a new report based on youth-led research in some five countries across Africa.
Over 2013 and 2014, the Foundation’s Youth Think Tank examined youth engagement in the not-for-profit and private sectors through qualitative research involving interviews with young people and representatives from the organizations that engage them, and explored the kinds of engagements undertaken by young people, the benefits of these engagements, as well as the barriers to participation.
According to information provided on its website, the Youth Think Tank found the following:
- Young people are motivated to engage in their communities out of a desire to help and feel the main way to do this is to provide and receive mentorship.
- Young people face several barriers to finding engagement opportunities, and in making full use of them once they have been invited to participate. Women, in particular, struggle to confront the negative stereotypes held by older generations and organizations.
- In order for youth to overcome the barriers to engagement, young people see a need to change mindsets around the value of their opinions and ideas, as well as the quality of their engagement opportunities.
- Organizations engaging young people should consider recruiting them via diverse channels and networks such as social media, radio, organizational websites, and through school and community networks.
- Youth engagement requires work. Providing young people with appropriate orientation and mentorship, as well as ongoing skills development, is crucial to the success of a youth engagement initiative, both for young people and for organizations.
For more details, and to download a copy of the report, click here.