Millions of youth around the world struggle to access education and jobs, particularly those that live in areas of crisis or conflict. Globally, 13 percent of youth are unemployed, and 38 percent of youth who are working remain in extreme or moderate poverty.
Rather than seeing these youth as burdens, Creative’s programs from Afghanistan to El Salvador value youth as positive change agents in their societies.
Taking a Positive Youth Development approach, Creative builds on the strengths and potential of young people, fostering their engagement, developing their sense of agency, and strengthening skills and relationships with others.
Seeing youth as equal partners, Creative puts young people in leadership roles so that programs address issues most relevant to them and they can build innovative, sustainable solutions to challenges in their communities.
For four decades, Creative has made youth a focal point of development assistance efforts – in education, civil society, citizen security, workforce training and community development – continually improving how we engage youth to amplify their voices and empower them to achieve their potential.
These initiatives offer viable life alternatives and second chances for at-risk youth who are affected by violence, crime, conflict and high levels of poverty in their communities.
Creative realizes that sustainable change requires not just a focus on individuals, but also on the families and environments that surround them. Therefore, Creative develops holistic programs that strengthen family and community connections, involve the private sector, and improve the effectiveness of institutions responsible for educating, protecting, and engaging youth.
When young people live in supportive environments, they develop the mindsets, behaviors and attitudes that are critical to wise decision-making and that unleash their creativity and enthusiasm for contributing to their communities.
Creative is the largest holder of USAID’s YouthPower Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts, with three projects in Honduras, Nicaragua and the Caribbean.
Proponte Más in Honduras and the Community, Family and Youth Resilience program in St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and Guyana engage the family as the greatest asset youth have in resisting the factors that can pull them toward crime or engagement with gangs. Our family counseling model builds positive relationships, creating a stable environment to reduce risky behaviors among youth and provide them with the support they need to succeed.
In Nicaragua, Creative’s workforce development project Aprendo y Emprendo is improving access to technical education and entrepreneurship for at-risk youth along the Caribbean Coast in collaboration with schools and the private sector.
In addition to training youth in technical fields, the project is strengthening soft skills such as dependability, communication and self-efficacy, as these are vital both for workplace success and for navigating family and community relationships.