Youth in Action (YiA) was a six-year learning and livelihood program. In partnership with Mastercard Foundation, the program improved the socio-economic status of over 40,000 out-of-school young people, both girls and boys, aged 12-18 in Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda. YiA invested in building and enhancing rural young people’s foundational and life skills, social assets and knowledge. The program built key partnerships to address barriers to young people’s participations, including access to local markets and gender-based barriers.

Youth in Action Theory of Change

Youth in Action Holistic Program Approach

Why work with rural out-of-school youth in Africa?
Youth in continental Africa and around the world have aspirations and dreams of who they want to be and of their roles within their communities. However, many out-of- school rural young people face limited formal socio-economic opportunities, are often unable to access systems and structures, and lack foundational skills that could support them to find pathways out of poverty and pursue the futures they envisage for themselves.In addition, Youth under the age of 18 are especially vulnerable, being under the minimum age of employment they are often at risk of being engaged in hazardous work to seek income. Nevertheless, this stage in life is typically decisive in how youth will transition from school to work and for the likelihood of transiting out of poverty. Many youth in the majority world are already out of school and are trying to provide for themselves and their families. Yet youth below 18 are often excluded in the design or implementation of youth employment policies and programmes.


What Does Youth in Action Do?
Youth in Action’s goal is to improve the socio-economic status of around 40,000 out-of- school young people (12-18 years), both girls and boys, in rural Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Uganda. Youth in Action achieves this by enhancing youths’ foundational skills and social assets, enabling their action in livelihood opportunities, mostly in the agricultural sector, and building key partnerships to facilitate youth’s access and participation in their economies and communities.