The Youth comprises nearly 30 percent of the world’s population and in developing countries, they are often neglected and overlooked by policy makers. This can largely be attributed to business-as-usual concern for immediate solutions to problems of national development, with an erroneous perception that youth are not yet industrious and contributing members of society.
Despite the youth representing the future and hope of every country, those of developing countries have limited opportunities for participation and most often are unable to make their voices heard. This is exacerbated by the fact that for many countries, it is assumed that formal education is all that is needed to respond to the needs of the youth. Other opportunities such as non-formal educational programmes for income generation and self-sustenance are poorly supported or not even deliberated.
As studies by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development have shown, any effort to enhance the knowledge, skills and experiences of young people, and improve their access to resources through rural youth programmes will have immediate positive impact on rural economies. Youth programmes have the potential to empower young people to become agents of change in their local communities. Waterclan is working to promote programmes where the youth is viewed as resources for development rather than objects of development.
Despite the youth representing the future and hope of every country, those of developing countries have limited opportunities for participation and most often are unable to make their voices heard.