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India launches bold new youth initiative - YuWaah!

Nov 01, 2019

UNICEF supports new alliance to transform education, skilling and employment with and for India’s more than 300 million youth.

New Delhi: India’s Minister for Women and Children’s Development, Smriti Irani along with an alliance of national and international partners, today launched a bold new national initiative to transform the countries to education, skilling and employment for its more than 300 million young people aged 10-24 years.

Sending his strong support to the YuWaah! partners for the launch, Prime Minister Modi said in a letter, “YuWaah’ – the Generation Unlimited partnership, will go a long way in empowering our youth to acquire skills to enhance their creativity and potential to build the new India of the 21st Century. I am sure that this partnership will make our youth the harbingers of social change.”

Speaking at the launch at the Habitat Centre in New Delhi, Minister Irani said the Government is determined to lead in making YuWaah! a transformational alliance that brings a national step change in preparing young people for the transition from education to 21st century work.

India is one of the first countries in the world to launch its national initiative linked to the global Generation Unlimited movement which began in New York in September 2018. Supported by UNICEF, Generation Unlimited brings young people together with the private sector, governments, international and local organisations to tackle the urgent challenge of investing in their learning and training so that they are prepared for the complex and fast-changing world of work and can be active and engaged citizens. By 2030 there will be two billion young women and men seeking opportunities for a bright future throughout the world.

Speaking at the launch, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore congratulated the Prime Minister and his Government for their leadership on transforming opportunities for India’s young people by targeting the transition between school and employment.

“Any country’s greatest asset is the energy, ideas and vision of its young people. As young people build their own futures, they’ll build India’s future. Investing in them is the best investment India can make.”

A strategic partnership with over 30 partners was established at the launch, to shape the next steps for YuWaah! in India. Fore also announced that UNICEF will support the start-up of the YuWaah! Secretariat, supporting partners to work together to scale up engagement with young people for solutions.

The voices of young people were prominent at the launch.

Participants visited the interactive “Solutions Café”, an exhibition by young people sharing their innovative ideas for developing skills, accessing employment and being engaged citizens and active change-makers in society.

Minister Irani and Executive Director Fore also launched a special “U-Report” digital survey, aimed at listening to and engaging youth throughout the country to ensure that their voices and solutions shape the actions of YuWaah! partners.

Partners in the YuWaah! alliance will support the best ideas to scale up solutions. Over 250 existing solutions for expanding young people’s opportunities in skill development, learning, employment, entrepreneurship and civic engagement have already been mapped. Further to this, a ‘call for solutions’ was launched to fill gaps and strengthen collaboration among organizations and young people.

“YuWaah! belongs to you – just as the future of India belongs to you. So help us think big. Be bold. Your generation can be the one that changes the course of the country. That sparks innovation and economic growth, creating the jobs of tomorrow. And the prosperity that India needs to support its growing population. Today your country needs you. The partners here today are standing with you, to invest in ideas and solutions that support you.”

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