When Young People take the lead!

So I realise that I have not posted a blog post from NYC as of yet, however this week has been full of meetings every day with a range of actors from member states of the United Nations, NGOs/ CSO accreditated to and work with the various UN bodies, the secretariat and where this blog post will focus on is at the the city level where youth engagement is a priority for the current administration. 

The programme in New York City is run by the Department for Youth and Community Development (DYCD) which then tenders their work to organisations which have experience of working in the local area so can meet individual needs. DYCD runs programmes ranging from afterschool programs, Literacy Services, Youth Employment Family Support, Vulnerable Youth and Advisory Boards. What showed real promise is the amount that young people are involved in advising or getting involved in programme design weather that is at local community hub level where they have local youth councils or if it is a city level where young people can be members of a youth council.  

During my time with them I learnt how the majority of their funding is recieved from city level and there has only been this level of commitment to young people and their services due to the political commitment of the administration during the election. In the UK there is a continuing debate about what age participation should be, however here in NYC it has over the last few years moved to 24 which surprised me. 

Over the length of the meeting it was great to see examples of good practice and where youth voice has a really strong mandate in the programme development. From their annual youth conference, elected member engagement, public scrutiny to local community centres. It was great to hear about some of their campaigns from getting more young people to vote and register to vote, focusing on sexual reproductive health to more local campaigns about taking back parks so young people and the community feel safe again! 

There is much more to be learned from what they have done locally but that will be showered more in the report. They even gave me some cool freebies! Until the next post, thank you for reading! 

If you want to find out more about there work you can visit here

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