© Helvetas / Arben Llapashtica


Today's young generation is the largest the world has ever known
© Helvetas / Arben Llapashtica

Today’s young generation is the largest the world has ever known. Young people are a tremendous and essential asset, but also a possible threat when denied access to labor markets, services and decision-making processes. Helvetas connects young people across generational and cultural borders and helps create inclusive societies with opportunities for the growing youth population.

Why youth matters

Out of the 1.3 billion young people worldwide, 85% live in developing countries and almost 50% live in fragile and conflict-affected areas. All over the world, young people are struggling to gain access to the labor market. Youth make up 25% of the global working age population, but account for over 40% of the unemployed. In developing countries, 2/3 of the young are neither working nor studying or are engaged in irregular and/or informal employment.

Young women and men oftentimes are underrepresented in formal political institutions and processes such as parliaments, political parties, elections, and public administrations. According to UNDP, people under the age of 35 are rarely found in formal political leadership positions.

What we do

Helvetas promotes active inclusion of the youth. In everything we do, we seek to actively involve young people and ensure their participation in the social, political and economic spheres.

In the YOU project in Kyrgyzstan for example, we seek to prevent violent extremism by bringing different generations together and facilitating meaningful dialogues between them.

© risialbania
Enhancing Youth Employment. Project Risi, Albania © risialbania
Zanfina Gashi, Female IT Training, American University of Kosovo (AUK), EYE Project | © Helvetas / Christian Bobst
Female IT Training. Project EYE, Kosovo © Helvetas / Christian Bobst

In Kosovo, the opportunity group approach allows young people in rural areas to organize their own trainings and acquire skills that are needed on the labor market.

We share learnings across projects and in everything we do, and promote innovative approaches that build on the opinions and interests of young women and men.

The Future They Want - Making Sense of Youth Aspirations in East and Southeast Europe

Do we really know what young people aspire for? Zenebe Uraguchi attempts to answer this question based on youth surveys from Kosovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Albania.
Albania, Eastern Europe

Making Markets Work for the Youth

© Helvetas / Christian Bobst
Kosovo, Eastern Europe

Jobs for Young People

Contact our team

Our multilingual advisory team offers wide-ranging thematic expertise and has in-depth experience in navigating complex processes to an impactful outcome. Our work builds on over 60 years of experience in more than 30 countries.

Representatives of the interdisciplinary working group on youth

Selected projects: Youth

© Helvetas / Christian Bobst
Kosovo, Eastern Europe Skills Development and Education

Jobs for Young People

Albania, Eastern Europe Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

Making Markets Work for the Youth

© S4RE
Kosovo, Eastern Europe Skills Development and Education

Matching Skills with Demand in the Labor Market

Our quarterly newsletter “Highlights"

For development practitioners and anyone interested in our projects and approaches.

Further information

Other topics that might interest you

Skills Development and Education

Lack of education perpetuates inequality because poor countries cannot compete economically without a skilled workforce.

Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

Economic growth does not always benefit the poor and poverty is bad for growth. We need to make a proactive effort to break this vicious cycle.

Urban Engagement

In 1960, only 1/3 of the global population lived in cities. Today, it’s 55% and growing. Helvetas looks for ways to ensure that this rapid urbanization benefits the poor and the marginalized.