About YouthBuild International

YouthBuild USA operates outside of the United States as YouthBuild International.

The YouthBuild International (YBI) mission is to unleash the intelligence and positive energy of young people to transform their lives and rebuild their communities. YBI provides technical resources to support the planning and implementation of locally operated YouthBuild programs and scaled networks of national, and regional YouthBuild programs outside of the United States. YBI also builds the capacity of local, national, and regional partners who have assessed the need for and potential impact of YouthBuild and who lead the process of adaptation and implementation.

Since 1999, YouthBuild ideas and practices have directly influenced the youth sectors in 32 different countries. These early engagements laid the foundation for the YBI present day scope of work where, in 19 countries, local partners are now implementing adapted YouthBuild programs. YouthBuild partners are planning for second stage expansion of the model. These programs are being implemented in rural and urban settings, located in developing countries, emerging economies and industrialized nations.  

Common features of the YouthBuild International operating context:  

  • Large numbers of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not connected to formal education or opportunities for safe, productive employment
  • A significant mismatch between the numbers of young people needing jobs and the numbers of jobs that will be generated by the formal economy, and where the informal sector may generate the bulk of livelihood opportunities for young people
  • Destroyed, dilapidated, or insufficient stocks of community infrastructure that need to be built or rebuilt (housing, schools, health clinics, ‘green’ infrastructure)
  • Employment and training systems that are not reaching or retaining marginalized youth, or are providing training that is not aligned with the demands of the private sector
  • High degrees of community unrest, manifested through conflict or violence, that require the input and leadership of local youth in order to be resolved
  • Locations that absorb the natural disaster impacts of a warming planet that need to mobilize the energy and technical know-how of young people to both respond to these disasters and lead adaptation efforts
  • Locally led and effective NGO, government, private-sector, and development-finance partners with a commitment to reach disconnected youth, providing access to education and training resources and pathways to productive livelihoods

YBI operations and the YouthBuild work of country-based implementing partners is supported by a range of financial resources from individuals, foundations, corporations, bi-and multilateral donor institutions, the US Government (USAID, USDOL, and US Department of State), development banks, national governments and local municipalities. The national governments in six countries support the operational costs of local YouthBuild programs. 

Our Vision

YouthBuild International’s vision is to create viable, sustainable livelihoods for all young people, through training, education, employment and self-employment. Working with and through a global network of partner institutions, YouthBuild International aims to:

  1. Create a global ‘hand up’ system that is visible, accessible, and inspiring to marginalized youth and provides an expanding network of connections for young people to education, training, financial services, leadership development, employment and self-employment opportunities in both formal and informal economic sectors
  2. Create a global forum for the exchange of effective practices and for the creation of design and performance standards that are influenced by young people, program operators, public and private employers, and leadership from the financial sector
  3. Document and communicate stories of youth transformation and community impact by showcasing the voice, progress and community contributions being made by young people in YouthBuild programs around the world
  4. Inform the practice and policy conclusions of public and private global institutions who share our commitment to address the challenge of youth unemployment, by documenting the experience and outcomes of the YouthBuild International network