From the local to the global, YouthBank International exists to support the development of new YouthBanks and enhance the capacity of country-wide networks. It provides a one-stop-shop for all individual YouthBanks and their members across the world by offering them practical support. It is a knowledge hub that provides access to information, materials, advice, networking contacts, opportunities to participate in seminars and conferences and much more.
A YouthBank is a youth-led grant-making organization or programme within a host organization, which channels money into projects that will improve the quality of life of local communities. It is also a process and way of working with young grant-makers that encourages and trains them as they develop essential life skills as well as increase their employability capabilities. Local YouthBanks are run by young people for young people wherever they are. YouthBank is unique in that it puts money directly into the hands of young people who decide on how it will be spent.
Young people are supported by adults but they make their own decisions as to what projects they choose to carry out and how the money they have is spent. YouthBank members develop many skills including communications and strategic thinking as well as self-esteem and team spirit.
All YouthBanks abide by a set of Golden Rules but are still given the flexibility to adapt their activities and processes to local circumstances. This means that the YouthBank model can work anywhere in the world.
There are five main groups of people involved in a local YouthBank:
Surrounding this is of course the community within which the group operates. It is important to remember that YouthBank is much more than a grant-making mechanism; it is a model for change and development.