To positively impact the greatest number of young people in as many places as possible, in the shortest amount of time, with programs that are effective and in ways that are sustainable. IYF focuses on youth employment, life skills, youth leadership, and health education.
This organisation was established in 1990 with a USD 70 million endowment given by the W K Kellogg Foundation. The International Youth Foundation now supports youth development programmes in 60 countries, with an emphasis on vocational education, improved workplace environments for young people, life skills, recreation facilities, health and youth leadership. Rather than creating new programmes, IYF emphasises ‘identifying and supporting what works’, helping to scale up successful projects run by non-profit organisations and businesses. It also works with leading multinational corporations to develop global ‘corporate social responsibility’ programmes relevant to young people.In China, IYF’s main partner has been the China Youth Development Foundation. IYF has mobilised funding from Lucent Technologies to enable the Youth Development Foundation to scale up a Project Hope teacher training programme in Shanghai, to establish several ‘Hope Internet Schools’ in rural communities, and to provide information and communication technology training to scores of teachers and thousands of students. The China Youth Development Foundation has also been the key China partner of a ‘Make a Connection’ programme, funded by Nokia through IYF, that supports small activities to promote life skills, creativity, cultural tolerance and active participation of young people.
From 2007 to 2011, the Unlocking the Potential of Asian Youth initiative seeked to address these needs by providing young people, ages 14 to 20, with support in three critical areas: life skills, education, and career preparation. Supported by the Tiger Woods Foundation, the initiative empowered disadvantaged youths between the ages of 14 to 20 and educational scholarships were given to disadvantaged youths in five cities to improve their life skills and career prospects;
In February 2012, IYF, the China Youth Development Foundation and the Harry Winston Hope Foundation brought IYF’s flagship life skillsPassport to Success, curriculum to China’s young people and teachers. The program, translated into Mandarin and adapted to reflect China’s unique culture, is designed to equip youths aged 14-18 with learning and marketable skills to prepare them for bright futures and empower them to contribute to their community’s economic growth and well being. This program is being launched through implementing partner China Youth Development Foundation in two Bai Nan Vocational Schools (BNVS) in Beijing and Nanjing.
In 2011, IYF partnered with 200 civil society organizations in 68 countries, benefitting nearly 1 million youth through expanded learning, work and citizenship programs.