GYM seeks funding to continue youth-led projects

Date: 13 April 2023

Following the release of the final impact report on 27 March 2023, the Global Youth Mobilization (GYM) is now seeking $15 million (£11.3 million) to continue working over the next three years, with young people at the helm.

Over 3.6 million have benefitted from projects in 125-plus countries delivered through the GYM initiative. It was led by the world’s six largest youth organisations and supported by the World Health Organization and United Nations Foundation.

Said Carlos Sanvee, Secretary General of the World YMCA and GYM Board Member: “We have seen that young people must be involved at the highest level of decision-making and trusted to develop solutions. By enabling them to deliver projects on the ground, young people have made a difference in their communities. GYM has shown it can be a model for grassroots community action across the world”.

Youth-led solutions

Led and implemented by young people across the world, GYM has been operational since December 2020, with young people tackling issues related to the Covid pandemic response. According to GYM data, during that time:

  • 90 per cent of young people reported increased mental anxiety
  • School closures impacted more than one billion students in almost every country
  • 80 per cent of young women said they were worried about their future
  • One in six young people worldwide lost their job during the pandemic

Supported by the World Health Organization, Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the United Nations Foundation, the GYM invested funds in youth-led initiatives and national Big Six organisations to support the pandemic response and recovery efforts.

GYM impact

GYM bypassed traditional funding and support streams to invest directly in young people and community grassroots organisations. Young people and community organisations were able to apply for funding via one centralised platform, available in multiple languages. These local solutions were judged and decided on by young people, for young people.

After the initial phase of the campaign, the youth-led GYM programme found that young people were making major improvements to the way community ideas and plans were delivered because they:

  • Designed solutions that met important local needs
  • Avoided “top-down” solutions
  • Allowed those working on the projects to benefit from managing the schemes instead of simply being told what to do

Said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, “WHO remains committed to continuing to work with the Global Youth Mobilization, and we encourage other partners to join the next phase of the initiative and invest in the health and well-being of future generations”.

Read the Final Impact Report.