Lusaka, Zambia — On November 18, the final group of 44 youth leaders graduated from the Youth Lead program supported by the U.S. government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of the Republic of Zambia’s Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts. The USAID Youth Lead program provided leadership and civic engagement skills training for 364 young women and men in Zambia over the last three years.
Youth Lead builds civic engagement and leadership skills through a training program, which utilizes a positive youth development approach to help participants reach their full potential. Youth Lead participants are paired with local and international civil society organizations, government agencies, and private-sector partners for a six-month paid internship to further help hone the skills learned in the program.
At the end of the internship, participants are provided small grants to develop and execute a community-based initiative or advocacy campaign to strengthen their civic engagement, organization, and planning skills. Youth Lead participants leave the program with the skills, tools, and confidence to take on increased roles of civic responsibility in the community and country.
Youth Lead alumna Jane Nakasuma said, “I am confident that we the alumni of Youth Lead are actually going to be shaping policy around greater youth inclusion in governance.”
Youth Lead also strengthens the capacity of the National Youth Development Council by establishing structures and systems enabling positive youth engagement.