The Importance of Youth Leadership
In many countries around the world, personal leadership & life skills development is not part of the standard curriculum or the overall educational experience of youth, especially those from underprivileged communities facing hardship and marginalization. Yet, the opportunity to develop these abilities & talents is essential to realizing one’s full potential and leading a more meaningful life.
Utilizing Visions’ own uniquely designed curriculum, we aim to shape engaged, informed, and socially conscious youth leaders and global citizens. Visions regularly conducts leadership trainings for youth and adults, and has 14 village-based Youth Learning & Empowerment Centers through which more than 400 youth receive regular academic training and support.
The youth who attend these YLECs (girls and boys aged 6 – 17) hail from mostly rural dalit and other low caste communities, the vast majority of whom live in either poverty or extreme poverty and lack access to a quality education. Through Visions India’s efforts, they receive daily after-school tutoring and mentorship by young adult “community workers” (one per village center) who are themselves from the communities they serve. These adult trainers also provide periodic spoken English training and leadership & life skills training once per week (after being trained themselves by Visions staff), as well as periodic service opportunities to put their newfound skills and talents into practice for the benefit of others. Students and parents alike hold each other accountable in ensuring children regularly attend school and these after-school sessions.
Our approach is to motivate and equip youth who are often at the bottom of the social hierarchy to invest in themselves first and take action for the benefit of others & their community at-large second. Everyone deserves the right to live their best life, and everyone has the ability to make the world a little better – through Visions’ leadership development efforts, youth across the globe are doing just that.