Generation Unlimited – 24 September 2018

World leaders unite to boost youth employment

SOS Children’s Villages is joining world leaders today at the UN in New York to launch a new partnership that aims to get every young person into quality education, training or employment by 2030.

The initiative, Generation Unlimited, will tackle the global education and training crisis currently holding back millions of young people and threatening progress and stability.

“SOS Children’s Villages is deeply motivated to support this partnership,” said SOS Children’s Villages International CEO Norbert Meder who is serving as one of more than 30 members of the Global Board of Generation Unlimited.

Speaking at the inaugural Global Board meeting, Mr Meder said this initiative is a “great step towards accomplishing a goal that we have been pursuing for 70 years”.

“The more than 80,000 children and youth in our direct care have lost their basic support structure – their families. Learning from their experience and fighting for their rights has shown us that without investment into the second decade of life, we compromise the impact of our efforts during early childhood,” he said.

Generation Unlimited, which forms part of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Youth 2030 Strategy, will complement and build on existing programmes that support adolescents and young people. The partnership platform will focus on three key areas: secondary-age education; skills for learning, employability and decent work; and empowerment.

Mr Meder said he believes that Generation Unlimited must prioritise those who start from the furthest behind – for example, the 1 in 10 children worldwide without parental care or at risk of losing it.

“Only in successfully walking with them on the last mile of their journey - from cradle to career - will we achieve sustainability and impact that will replicate itself,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr Meder stressed the importance of working as part of a global partnership: “We can’t achieve the change we want to see alone. Working together in this partnership and securing investment in the second decade of life, we will deliver transformative and sustainable change for and with the children and youth who start life the furthest behind,” he concluded.