Commonwealth Youth Programme
The Commonwealth Youth Programme, also known as CYP, is an international development agency working with young people between the ages of 15 and 29. Part of the Commonwealth Secretariat, CYP is active in the Commonwealth's 54 member countries. CYP has a head office in London with four centres in Africa, Lusaka, Zambia, Asia Chandigarh, India, Caribbean Georgetown, Guyana and Pacific Honiara, Solomon Islands. Currently there are Four Regional Directors and 16 programme officers plus support staff are working there.
The CYP's programme of work is decided mainly by Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting. Funded by Commonwealth governments through annual pledges to a voluntary fund, CYP is not a funding agency and does not provide financial support to any other organization.
CYP supports, and is supported by, a body of youth representatives called the Commonwealth Youth Caucus. The Youth Caucus meets at national, regional and pan-Commonwealth level to advise the programme. The Youth Caucus has a seat at Commonwealth Youth Ministers Meeting, and helps to organise the Commonwealth Youth Forum which meets prior to Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
The Programme is supported by Queen Elizabeth II in her role as head of the Commonwealth. Princess Anne visited the Commonwealth Youth Programme Regional Centre for Africa in Lusaka, Zambia, in September 2012 as part of her four-day official visit to the country to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
CYP provides government and youth-centred organisations with technical assistance in the areas of:
- Enterprise/vocational training and microcredit
- Youth participation in decision-making and youth policy
- Professionalisation and training for youth workers
- Citizenship, peace-building, and human rights education
- HIV/AIDS awareness and counselling
- Information and Communications Technology
- Democracy (through Commonwealth election observer missions)
- Youth mainstreaming
- Youth Development Index
All of CYP's work falls within The Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (2007-2015), which is the Commonwealth's organising framework for cooperation on youth affairs. Through the Plan of Action, Commonwealth Heads of Government have affirmed that: "empowering young people means creating and supporting the enabling conditions under which young people can act on their own behalf, and on their own terms, rather than at the direction of others."
CYP's mission statement states that "CYP works to engage and empower young people (aged 15-29) to enhance their contribution to development. We do this in partnership with young people, governments and other key stakeholders. Our mission is grounded within a rights-based approach, guided by the realities facing young people in the Commonwealth, and anchored in the belief that young people are:
- A force for peace, democracy, equality and good governance
- A catalyst for global consensus building; and
- An essential resource for sustainable development and poverty eradication.
CYP advocates the effective participation of young women and men in the development process and for social transformation. We value their full engagement at all levels of decision-making."
The Commonwealth Youth Programme works in partnership with a range of organisations including
- Commonwealth of Learning
- Commonwealth Foundation
- Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council
- Royal Commonwealth Society
- Commonwealth Policy and Studies Unit
- UN (UNICEF, UN Youth Unit, UNAIDS, UN Habitat, UNDP, UNESCO and UNFPA)
- 47 Partner Universities delivering Youth Work qualifications
- A range of microcredit NGOs and development banks
- The Body Shop of Australia
- Commonwealth Youth Programme Strategic Plan 2006-2008, Commonwealth Secretariat
- Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment 2007-2015, Commonwealth Secretariat
- The Commonwealth Secretariat
- Ninth Commonwealth Youth Forum 2013 :The youth identity; the Sri Lankan way
- CHOGM in South Asia after 30 years: A great milestone in capacity building of Lanka’s youth skills
- CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka: The Youth Parliamentary concept of Sri Lanka by M.H.M.N. Bandara http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2013/09/15/fea01.asp
- "Princess Royal to visit Commonwealth youth centre in Zambia". The Commonwealth Secretariat website.