YouthLinkExpress Newsletter
vol 8.6
:: Spotlight
Check out our UN blog!
The United Nations Headquarters in New York is a place of continuous activity and debate. Although a lot of the attention of the international community focuses on the annual commissions and other high-profile meetings, there are briefings, debates and events every day that contribute to the development debate and help determine the way forward for the UN.

The staff and interns at GYAN regularly attend these events to keep up to date on current issues and to encourage more youth participation. Please leave your comments and questions on the blog, and we will try to address them and bring up your points at future meetings! Click here to read the blog!


1. Network News
2. Get Involved
3. In the spotlight
4. Of Interest
5. Opportunities
6. Take Action

Vidar Ekehaug and Akhila Kolisetty

Mathieu Carey, Marioliva Gonzales, Bridget Kearney, Akhila Kolisetty, Gillian Javetski, Adeola Oyelola, and Janine Padilla.
:: MDG Youth Portal
:: Global Youth
Service Day
:: Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS
:: GYAN Mexico
:: Introduction

Editor's note - This month we are delighted to invite our friends and colleagues at the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) to write the introduction for YouthLink Express. GYCA Advocacy Liaison Naomi Sorkin reports on their efforts at the Special Session on HIV/AIDS.

Dear friends,

On June 10th-11th 2008, a dynamic cadre of youth advocates converged in New York to boldly address the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS, in its seven year review. Among the many achievements made by young people at the UNGASS high level meetings, the key messages developed by the Youth Caucus shaped the discourse around young people for advocates of all ages. Young people were included in several country statements as well as panel discussions. Additionally, the roundtable discussions at the UNESCO youth-adult luncheon on barriers to sex education were a model forum to promote interaction between youth advocates and government ministers on the key issues that remain overlooked in the AIDS response.

Notably, young people this year took the reins in monitoring the UNGASS commitments pledged by UN member countries at the first UNGASS in 2001. Teams of young people wrote 10 UNGASS National Youth Shadow Reports to evaluate HIV policies and programming in Egypt, the United States, Nepal, India, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Kenya, Jamaica, and Viet Nam. These vital advocacy reports produced by GYCA set the tone for the high level meetings by highlighting the needs and recommendations for achieving universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support for young people.

The 2008 UNGASS high level meetings revealed that young people now have a seat at the table of political negotiation around HIV. However, their role within this coveted space does not necessarily translate into meaningful involvement - the ability to be an equal partner in the design, implementation and evaluation of policies that affect them, not just attending a meeting and being given a chance to make remarks. The youth movement must develop its agenda across broader lines by linking up with distinct regional and issue-specific caucuses. Young people cannot be relegated into a corner as a homogenous group with homogenous needs. Many young people already working on HIV in their communities demonstrate the effectiveness of peer-to-peer and youth-led approaches. The difficult task that remains now is to convey the diverse patchwork of youth people's realities to the global community while presenting viable solutions that can reach us all.

Best regards,

Naomi Sorkin
GYCA Advocacy Liaison

:: Please Support Our Work!

The Global Youth Action Network is one of the leading alliances of youth organizations in the world today. We are youth-driven and count on the support of those who believe in the potential young people have to lead. The organization is poised to increase the scope and scale of our work, and we need your support. There are many ways to help - learn how here, or make a donation today!


Young People from Liberia Raise their Voices against Violence
6/19/2008, UNFPA - USA
Woloquoi, now 25 years old, is...advocating for Liberia's young people in the fight to stop all forms of the violence... More here.

Youth centres provide a wide range of services in Afghanistan
6/19/2008, ReliefWeb - Switzerland
The aim of the YICC project is to provide fast and easy access to a wide range of information and services for youths - especially girls - with the goal of engaging them in community development and peace-building. More here.

Book Week brings literature to youth
6/20/2008, Vietnam News - Vietnam
A special book show at the HCM City's Exhibition House, which includes more than 500,000 titles, has attracted many parents and their children. More here.

Funding for 'youth helping youth' project
6/20/2008, Scoop Independent News - New Zealand
…funding for an innovative project - Youth Action 4 Change - to assist local young people help their peers to make the most of their lives. More here.

Final Report on OECD E-consultation now available
In May, TakingITGlobal and GYAN conducted two E-consultations for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). More than 300 young people participated in discussions on Climate Change and Citizen Centred Policies and Services. A final report of the discussions is now available and was also presented at an OECD workshop in Slovenia in June. Check out the report here!

GYCA organizes Mexico Youth Pre-Conference
The Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) helped organize a scholarship competition called Agentes de Cambio to award scholarships to young people from Latin America to attend the XVII International AIDS Conference this August in Mexico City as MTV digital reporters. The scholarship contest was announced via a 30 second television ad that aired in 22 Latin American countries and reached approximately 17 million households. 10 winners have been selected from over 350 applications. 27,000 health care providers, activists, researchers and policy makers will attend the conference. Click here to find out more.

GYAN Mexico participates in UN-Habitat conference
GYAN Mexico was one of the organizing partners for the International Youth Crime Prevention and Cities Summit that took place in South Africa on June 17-21. It is the culmination of a series of regional forums that started in June 2002 to find new ways of tackling urban youth crime and violence in Africa and Latin America. Contact GYAN Mexico for more details.

Last chance to submit GYSD report
Global Youth Service Day took place this year with more than 400 participating organizations in over 100 countries. We are now putting together a report of all the activities, and if you have not yet completed the final report survey, please do so as soon as possible. The survey is available online in English, Spanish, or French, or you can fill out this Word document and send it to

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:: The MDG Youth Campaign Kit
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Become a member of a growing alliance of youth organizations. launches World Population Day Media Contest
If you are under 18 and interested in using media to shed light on important global issues, then enter's World Population Day Media Contest by July 11, 2008! You will be eligible to win gift certificates! If you do not already have an original blog, game, audio, video or mashup to enter the contest, then take the World Population Day Quest to get guidance on making one. is seeking youth leaders to be official Youth Guides for the community - please send an email if you are interested!

World Urban Youth Forum E-Consultation
From June 10 - July 11, 2008 the Partners and Youth section of the UN-HABITAT are undertaking an e-consultation on the theme of the Fourth World Urban Forum (WUF) which will take place in Nanging, China from November 3rd - 7th 2008. This process presents an opportunity for you to articulate what you consider harmonious or inharmonious in your lives, towns and cities. Click here to fill out their questionnaire.

Vote for issues you care about with GlobalVote
GlobalVote is a new nonprofit initiative that enhances democracy through shadow voting and polling systems. GlobalVote will empower the world's Internet users by recording their opinions and registering their votes on the world's most pressing issues, including resolutions under consideration at the United Nations and other international organizations. Click here to vote on their current resolution!

:: UN Blog
GYAN staff and interns regularly attend meetings and briefings at the UN; check this blog to see what is happening.
:: The VOICE Section informs youth on how to get involved in policy, and reports on those of interest to young people.

Youth Lobbies for Secondary Art School
6/19/2008, Jamaica Gleaner - Jamaica
A 20-year-old Jamaican studying in Canada has called for the Government and the local arts community to collaborate… More here.

Simple Plan Foundation Aids Youth, Hands Out $100,000
6/20/2008, The Canadian Press - Canada
Recipients include War Child Canada, Kids Help Phone, Children's Wish Foundation and Portage, a Quebec group involved in substance-abuse rehabilitation. More here.

Over 3,000 Adolescents Get Professional Training
6/19/2008, - Angola
At least 3,500 disadvantaged youth in the southern Huíla province will benefit this year, from professional training courses financed by the government. More here.

Speak Africa Campaign for No Violence Against Children And Youth Launched
6/18/2008, - Ethiopia
The Speak Africa Campaign was launched by the African Union as part of Day of the African Child celebrations in Addis Ababa. More here.

A $10 Mosquito Net Is Making Charity Cool
6/2/2008, The New York Times - USA
Donating $10 to buy a mosquito net to save an African child from malaria has become a hip way to show you care, especially for teenagers. More here.

Young Environmental Activists Tell Their Story at UN Children's Conference
6/17/2008, UN News Centre - Norway
A young Australian filmmaker and an Indian child combating water waste are among the 700 children from over 100 countries that are sharing their stories on how to create a better, healthier planet... More here.

University Students on the March Again
6/13/08, Inter Press Service - Paraguay
The university student movement in Paraguay has made a comeback, demanding a law to grant them rebates on public transport fares... More here.


4th World Youth Congress
The World Youth Congress is a celebration of youth-led development taking place in Quebec City from August 10 to 21, 2008. The conference will bring together 600 activists in the field of sustainable development, from 120 different countries. Delegates will help shape international policy by documenting and showing governments what young people are doing to achieve the MDGs. For more information, click here.

:: EVENT SPOTLIGHT [Full Calendar]

8th Global Conference on National Youth Service
Date: November 19-22, 2008
Location: Paris, France
This conference is an opportunity for practitioners, policymakers, government officials, and researchers to come together to discuss the potential for scaling up national youth service for greater impact on community and youth development. For more information, click here or send an email.

Third Global Congress of Women in Politics and Governance
Date: October 19-22, 2008
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines
The theme of the congress is “Gender in Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction” and it focuses on the absence of women in the debate on climate change and disaster risk reduction, both of which are global mainstream issues that are currently impacting the world. Confirm your participation by the deadline of August 31, 2008. For more information, click here or send an email.

5th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations
Date: August 11-14, 2008
Location: New York, USA
The Youth Assembly is an annual gathering of hundreds of young people from around the world who seek practical ways to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, global networking, and social entrepreneurship skills. The assembly includes keynote speakers, workshops, networking events, and leadership training. Register by the deadline of August 5, 2008. For more information, click here.

South Asian Youth Summit for SAARC 2008
Date: July 22-26, 2008
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
This summit is sponsored by the Sri Lanka-United Nations Friendship Organisation (SUNFO). Their youth arm is the SUNFO World Youth Congress, which organizes many youth development, training and service activities annually. Youth between the ages of 16 and 24 are invited to attend this conference. Please email to obtain a registration form. For more information, click here or send an email.

Many scams invite people to register for a youth conference, and intend only to collect registration fees. Please beware and only pay fees when you are certain it is a legitimate event. Common schemes include events taking place both in the USA and other countries.

Global Youths Combined Conference Conference organized by World Youth Organization for Human Welfare, taking place from September 10-12, 2008 in California, USA and from September 17-19, 2008 in Dakar, Senegal.

9th Roundtable of NGO/CBO Summit on HIV-AIDS and Climate Initiative for the 21st century, taking place July 14-19, 2008 in Boston, USA.

:: Foundation Center
:: Grant Station
:: European Foundation Center

:: Everything imaginable on TakingITGlobal
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Activist Toolkit from Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international human rights organization, and their website includes useful tips for students/youth who are planning events or running organizations. Check out this useful activist toolkit to gather event ideas and learn how to successfully plan and publicize fundraisers, speakers, forums, and other events to raise awareness of your cause. For more information, click here.

Trends in Sustainable Development 2008-2009
A recent report published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Sustainable Development shows that efforts to reduce poverty and improve food security in developing countries are hampered by declining support for strong agricultural growth. The report highlights recent trends in agriculture, rural development, land, desertification, and drought. For more information, click here.

:: Public Services International
:: Communication Initiative
:: International Environment & Develepment Vacancies


Vancouver Foundation Program Coordinator
Vancouver Foundation is seeking a Program Coordinator whose primary role will be to support a range of grant making and community leadership activities that relate to their Youth in Philanthropy Council; Children, Youth and Families Committee and Vancouver Sun Children's Fund. Application deadline is July 16, 2008. For more information, click here.

Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships
The Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships (AFPF) is a cultural and professional exchange program for journalists. They offer six-month working fellowships for non-U.S. print journalists from developing and transitional countries with an emerging free press. Fellows return with new journalistic skills and knowledge that can be applied in their home countries. Apply by September 1, 2008. For more information, click here or send an email.


The International Foundation for Science (IFS) Research Grants
IFS is currently accepting research grant proposals from young researchers from developing countries. Each year IFS awards around 250 research grants with a value of up to USD $12,000 for research projects that will be carried out in developing countries. Eligible research proposals will address issues that fit within the broad topic of sustainable management, use or conservation of biological or water resources. For more information, click here.


Disney Minnie Grants
Youth Service America and Disney have launched a second round of Disney Minnie Grants to engage children and youth, ages 5-14, as community volunteers. The selected applications will receive $500 to support their youth-led service projects. The deadline is August 30 and projects must take place between October 15 and November 15, 2008. Grantees from the first round of Disney awards of 2008 are eligible to apply. Click here to view past award recipients. For more information, click here.

Open Society Institute (OSI) Fellowship Program
The Open Society Institute (OSI) recently launched a new fellowship program to support idea entrepreneurs from around the world. The Open Society Fellowship will enable innovative professionals — including journalists, activists, scholars, and practitioners — to work on projects that inspire meaningful public debate, shape public policy, and generate intellectual ferment within OSI. For more information, click here.


Youth Community Development Workers
Young People We Care (YPWC) is a youth-led NGO based in Ghana which is operated by university-aged youth. YPWC is currently recruiting 2 - 3 interns for the summer months (July & August) to assist with the development of their Millennium Development Goal Clubs. These MDG Clubs are intended to not only make young people aware of the MDGs but to also get them directly involved in helping their country meet their targets. For more information, click here or send an email.

Community Connector Internship
TakingITGlobal is looking for young people for their Community Connector team. This internship is great for those interested in youth engagement in the online environment, gaining experience in online media, and working in a high-energy community. For more information, click here.



End Poverty and Inequality
In July 2008, leaders of eight of the world's wealthiest and most powerful nations - the G8 - will meet in Hokkaido, Japan for their annual meeting. Make a wish for immediate action from the G8 on education, health, climate change, and international aid. Your wish, along with millions of others, will be handed to the Japanese Prime Minister before the meeting begins. For more information, click here.

Time to Lead on Climate Change
Sign a petition to ask the countries participating in the G8 Summit to commit to mid-term targets to cut emissions. Scientists agree that these targets are critical to avoid climate catastrophe. For more information, click here.







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