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International Youth-Serving Organizations




Around the world there are hundreds and thousands of youth-serving organizations. For more than 50 years there have been a number of attempts to weave together these diverse programs under one common plan of action. Those efforts have repeatedly failed. However, the Internet has brought the youth community closer than ever, showing more potential than any other medium before.

Following are several categories of action in the international youth movement. This movement, which is leaderless and diverse, is complex. Everywhere young people are complex, there needs and interests broad, and their responses outstanding. These categories attempt to summarize this diaspora of activity under the common umbrella of The Freechild Project Youth Movement Plan.


The "Big 7" Youth Organizations

There is a group of major youth-serving organizations that have either existed for a long time, have large numbers of participants, or have significant governmental and financial support. These are those.


The World Organization of the Scout Movement is the home of Scouting, whose mission is to contribute to the education of young people, through a value system based on the Scout Promise and Law, to help build a better world where people are self-fulfilled as individuals and play a constructive role in society. There are more than 28 million Scouts, youth and adults, boys and girls, in 216 countries and territories. Send mail to Box 241, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland. Call (+41 22) 705 1010 or email worldbureau@world.scout.org


World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts seeks to be the voice of girls and young women by representing the issues important to their members. Send mail to World Bureau, Olave Centre, 12c Lyndhurst Road London, NW3 5PQ. Call +44 (0)20 7794 1181 or email wagggs@wagggsworld.org


World Alliance of Young Men's Christian Associations (YMCA) says that "The YMCA is a youth movement. It places special emphasis on the genuine involvement of young people at all levels, recognizing that a strong and vibrant youth leadership is essential in local, national and regional Movements. The YMCA also places special emphasis on developing programs for and by young people that are relevant and meaningful to them. Send mail to 12 Clos Belmont, 1208 Geneva, Switzerland or call +41-22-8495100.


World Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) has a vision of a fully inclusive world where justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and care for the environment are promoted and sustained through women's leadership. Send mail to 16 Ancienne Route, CH-1218 Grand Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland. Call (41-22) 929 6040 or email worldoffice@worldywca.org


International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies recognizes that in their actions, young people can make a significant contribution to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable people within their local communities and globally. Their main role within the movement is as partners in its management and as workers in each of its program. Send email to youth@ifrc.org


International Award Association offers the International Award, an exciting self-development Programme available to all young people worldwide equipping them with life skills to make a difference to themselves, their communities and the world. To date over 5 million young people from over 100 countries have been motivated to undertake a variety of voluntary and challenging activities. Send mail to Award House, 7-11 St Matthew Street, London, SW1P-2JT. Call +44 (0)20 7222 4242 or email sect@intaward.org


International Youth Foundation is working in close to 70 countries and territories to improve the conditions and prospects for young people where they live, learn, work, and play. Established in 1990 to bring worldwide resources to young people in need, IYF works with hundreds of companies, foundations, and civil society organizations to strengthen and "scale up" existing programs that are making a positive and lasting difference in young lives. Send mail to 32 South Street, Suite 500, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA.


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Regional Youth Platforms

Every major geo-physical region around the world- except North America- is home to a coordinating agency focused on young people called a "Regional Youth Platform." The following is information about these platforms.


Global Cooperation Coordinating Committee (GCCC) is a network of regional non-governmental youth platforms from around the world. The GCCC was established in 1997 and arose from the need for regional youth platforms to co-operate and work together on common global issues affecting young people.


The African Youth Network brings African young people together to discuss youth policy in areas such as the environment, trade and poverty, through seminars, workshops and regular publications. Send mail to The African Youth Network, Permanent Secretariat, B.P. 4542 Lomé, Togo. Call 228 22 17858 or email raj_ayn@hotmail.com


Arab Youth Union was founded in 1974 encourages youth initiatives aimed at developing the youth movement within the Arab world and supports activities in the fields of technology, science, sports, voluntary service, literature and issues related to the spirit of initiative and creativity among young people. Send mail to PO Box 12033, Damascus, Syria. Call +963 11 3338012 or email arabyouth@mail.sy


Asian Students Association seeks to transcend all barriers and express solidarity with one another and all the people of the world through the promotion of an Asia-Pacific identity and a Third World consciousness. It operates an Activist Training Centre, a Media Centre and ASEED-Asia. Send mail to Flat B, 2nd floor, wang cheong building, 249 – 253 Reclamation Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR. Call +852.2388 0515 or email asasec@netvigator.com.


Asian Youth Council is a regional coordinating body for youth in the Asia-Pacific region. It is a non-governmental, voluntary organization seeking to promote peace, goodwill and solidarity among member organizations in order to foster a greater international understanding and respect for the wide variety of rich cultural values within the region.  Send mail to S2 International Youth Centre, Jalan Yacob Latif, Bandar Tun Razak, 56000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Call +6012 377 2509 or email dfameux@tm.net.my


Caribbean Federation of Youth calls for advocacy, education and training, cultural and dramatic art forms, social integration and entrepreneurial and enterprise development. CFY's main activities are: an annual regional work-study camp; leadership training projects; regional conferences for youth and representation at regional and international level. Send mail to PO Box 1815, Egmont St, Kingstown, St Vincent, West Indies. Call + 1 784 4856378 or email cfy@caribsurf.com


European Youth Forum is an international organization established by national youth councils and international non-governmental youth organizations to represent the interests of young people from all over Europe. It is the youth platform in Europe representing youth organizations in international institutions - mainly the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations. It serves to channel the flow of information and opinions between young people and decision-makers. Send mail the European Youth Forum, Rue Joseph II straat 120, B-1000 Brussels. Call (+32 2) 230 6490 or email youthforum@youthforum.org


Latin American Youth Forum is the co-ordination body for 8 national youth platforms and 12 international youth organizations from this continent. FLAJ's purpose is to become a vehicle of representation, coordination and co-operation between the youth organizations of Latin America. Send mail to Foro Latinoamericano de Juventud (FLAJ), Technical Secretariat, Foro Juvenil de Uruguay, Calle Maldonado 1260 CP - 11.200, MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY. Call +59829030029 or email canario@forojuvenil.org.uy


Pacific Youth Council is composed of 19 national youth councils. The principle objectives of the organization are to bring together the different territorial and national youth organizations that exist in the region in one common organization and to promote, at all levels, a regional youth identity that takes into account the different cultural, social, economic and political particularities of the states and territories that are members of the PYC. Another key role for the PYC is to encourage co-operation between NGOs, youth NGOs, and governmental organizations both regional and international- and to promote the participation of youth. Send mail to C/- Pacific Youth Bureau, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, BP D5 98848 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia. Call + 684 633 28 75 or email MonicaV@spc.int


Pan-African Youth Movement seeks unity of thought and action; sensitisation; informing and mobilising young people to totally free the continent from all forms of foreign domination; the struggle for economic and social independence and cultural rehabilitation of Africa as well as the unity of all peoples - real African unity. Send mail to Mouvement Panafricain de la Jeunesse, 68, rue de Tripoli-Hussein-Dey, Alger, Algeria c/o Mr. Belkasmi Ahmed, Deputy Secretary General. Call + 213 21 476851 or email pym_mpj@hotmail.com



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United Nations Youth Programs

The UN hosts several outreach programs particularly for young people. Following are some of those.




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International Organizations of Note

The following organizations are emerging international leaders to providing services to young people.


International Association for National Youth Service - Takes a pro-active position on national youth service, recommending that every country give serious consideration to national youth service. To this end, the Association and its members are prepared to exchange information and otherwise assist nations wishing to consider the introduction of national youth service. Email TAPIANIEVES@netscape.net


International Council on National Youth Policy - Operates as expert content provider on national youth policy-making and advocate in international decision-making. Send mail to Sieveringer Strasse 151/1/1, A-1197 Vienna, AUSTRIA or call +43 1 925 25 13


Oxfam International Youth Parliament is an initiative of Oxfam International. It is a network of young leaders in 150 countries with a vision of "youth building an equitable, sustainable and peaceful world". Send mail to Oxfam Community Aid Abroad, PO Box 1711, Strawberry Hills, Sydney NSW 2012 Australia. Call +61-2-8204-3900 or email info@iyp.oxfam.org


Peace Child International empowers young people to inform themselves and take action on major world issues. Since its founding in 1982 it has grown to include over 500 youth groups in 120 countries. Send mail to The White House, 46 High Street
Buntingford, Herts, SG9 9AH, UK. Call
+44 (0) 1763 274459 or email


International Save the Children Alliance fights for children's rights. It delivers immediate and lasting improvements to children’s lives worldwide. Save the Children works for a world which respects and values each child; a world which listens to children and learns; a world where all children have hope and opportunity. 27 Save the Children organisations make up the International Save the Children Alliance, the world’s largest independent movement for children, making improvements for children in over 110 countries.


TakingITGlobal is an international organization - led by youth and empowered by technology. TakingITGlobal connects youth around the world to find inspiration, information and get involved in improving their local and global communities. Send mail to 19 Duncan Street, Suite 505, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 3H1
Canada. Call +1 (416) 977-9363 or email


YouthActionNet seeks to  connect, inspire, and nurture present and future young leaders. Send mail c/o International Youth Foundation, 32 South Street, Suite 500, Baltimore, MD 21202 USA. Call +1 410 951 1500 or email yan-info@youthactionnet.org  





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