Young people are affected by many topics, projects and programs of development cooperation. Only rarely, however, do development institutions put young people at the centre and empower them as actors. For various reasons, it is important to focus more on adolescents and young adults when working on development policies: On the one hand, adolescence is a time when many decisions are made for later in life, and on the other hand, adolescents make up a large proportion of the population in countries affected by poverty and crises. In order to take advantage of the opportunities for youth empowerment, young people are addressed not only as a target group but also as partners in development policy activities.
The following figures illustrate the difficult situation of young people today:
- In 2019, 41% of the world's population was under the age of 25.
- 1.21 billion people - over one-sixth of the world's population - are young people between the ages of 15 and 24. 86% of them - just over one billion - live in developing countries.
- Young people are disproportionately affected by poverty: 126 million young people (9.6% of all young people worldwide) must live on less than 1.90 US dollars a day.
- Youth are disproportionately affected by unemployment: Over 35% of all unemployed worldwide are youth, even though they make up only 15% of the global labour force.
- Adolescents are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS: 37% of new HIV/AIDS infections among people aged 15 and older are adolescents. 3.4 million - a quarter of all people living with HIV/AIDS are between the ages of 15 and 24.
- Adolescents are disproportionately affected by conflict: 15- to 24-year-olds make up 35% of the global refugee population.
This is where Horyzon's global cooperation program comes in, by helping to reduce and address these deficits. It enables young people to become active themselves, to change the realities of their lives and to work for a brighter future.
Young people are a heterogeneous group. The understanding of youth varies in different cultural and social contexts. Across all diversity, "youth" primarily characterizes the transition from being a child to being an adult, from dependence to independence. This transition is characterized by young people discovering opportunities and limitations, forming their own values, acquiring knowledge and skills for their jobs, and preparing for their adult lives. This transition does not always proceed in a straight line. Five transitions can be distinguished that have a significant impact on future individual well-being and shape human capital, which is important for social and societal development. Coping well with these transitions are important steps into adult life. At the same time, they are critical moments in life that can negatively affect the development from adolescent to adult if not successfully completed. Horyzon's projects address all these transitions and help youth successfully navigate these critical and extremely important times.
- Connecting to education beyond elementary school
- Start gainful employment
- Adopt a healthy lifestyle
- Start a family
- Actively exercise civil rights
Horyzon focuses on three areas that together form the basis for sustainable living and enable young people to master it successfully:
- On the five transitions from adolescent to adult:
World Development Report 2007: Development and the Next Generation (S. 67ff)