Announcing the IANYS 9th Global Conference on National Youth Service

Guest post by ICP Intern Christina Sewell

Calling all Civic Engagement Enthusiasts!

The International Association for National Youth Service Invites You to its 9th Global Conference on National Youth Service in Alexandria, Egypt this October


The International Association for National Youth Service (IANYS) is pleased to announce that its 9th Global Conference on National Youth Service will take place at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria) in Alexandria, Egypt, from October 25-28, 2010.

The Conference will be organized in partnership with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy & Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP), the IANYS Secretariat.

This global event is designed for organizations and individuals interested in creating high-quality youth service programs, advocating for government support in this endeavor, and/or undertaking evaluations and research of Continue reading

Celebrating Women, Celebrating Civic Engagement: A message from Queen Rania of Jordan

Guest post by Talloires Network Intern Alissa Brower. Cross-posted from the Talloires Network blog.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, this article places a spotlight on one female leader who has had a great deal of influence on civic engagement in the Middle East. Recently, the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy & Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo hosted Jordan’s Queen Rania Al-Abdullah who spoke to students about their impact in society and the difference they can make in the larger community.

The objective of Queen Rania’s speech was to encourage students to realize the kind of difference they can make in society and take advantage of attending a university that provides support for civic engagement and community service.

Her majesty started her speech with a story that symbolizes where civic engagement and understanding can start. The story itself can be considered a celebration of women making a difference in the world, as it involves a young girl who wanted to change the living conditions of a less fortunate community. The story begins with Raghda visiting an elderly community outside of central Cairo. Raghda met a woman who invited the girl into her home. What Raghda saw when she Continue reading

Youth Service is a Powerful Strategy for Youth Employment

Reports from the US and many other regions in the world continue to show that young people are bearing the brunt of the recession.

In the US, the Center for American Progress reports that minority workers, teens and less-educated workers have unemployment rates far above the national average. The latest available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in July 2008, 3.4 million young people in the United States were unemployed representing a youth unemployment rate of 14 percent, the highest rate recorded for July since 1992.

According to the National Youth Employment Council, “an unprecedented “age twist” in employment rates occurred in the US over the past 8 years with older workers (55+) improving their employment rates strongly while teens and 20-24 year old males reached new post-World War II lows.”

This trend is true in many parts of the developing and developed world. In several countries, young people represent the largest cohort in society yet experience some of the lowest employment rates.

The Middle East/North Africa region has an unemployment rate near 15 percent, the highest of any region in the world. Young people in the region experience even greater unemployment with average rates of 25 percent, far exceeding the world Continue reading

The United Kingdom’s Community Service Volunteers Offers a Range of Opportunities to Serve

CSV logoThis post has been contributed by my summer intern Ceyhun Arslan, who is researching service opportunities around the world for non-U.S. citizens.

Community Service Volunteers (CSV) offers a plethora of volunteering opportunities in the United Kingdom to British and non-British citizens of all ages.

Founded in 1962, CSV is today the United Kingdom’s largest volunteering and training organization, which involved nearly quarter of a million people last year.  Below is the essential information for some of its main programs.

Full-time volunteering

A full-time volunteer term lasts between 4 and 12 months. All volunteers work in the United Kingdom, and British citizens have to volunteer far away from their home town. Volunteers work in a range of fields, including health care, Continue reading

Evaluating the Impact of Youth Civic Engagement on Development

Picture 8As the momentum for youth civic engagement in the US and internationally continues, the need  to evaluate and demonstrate the impact of these activities on development becomes clearer, to encourage both greater and long-term investment in youth service.

Youth voluntary service programs exist in dozens of countries and communities around the world, and new programs and policy initiatives are currently being developed in many others, often with the help of international organizations like UNICEF, UN Volunteers/UNDP, and the International Youth Foundation. These programs engage many more young people in service while also making positive Continue reading

110 Nonprofit-Track Workshops at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service

Picture 5The largest U.S. gathering of voluntary effort — the National Conference on Volunteering and Service — will take place in San Francisco in just a couple weeks. The nonprofit workshop track at the conference is among the largest, with over 100 presentations.

The National Conference on Volunteering and Service (NCVS) is the Fashion Week of the service world in the United States. It’s taking place June 22-24 (plus various pre- and post-meetings), at the Moscone Continue reading

Summer of Service Creates Positive Alternatives for Middle School Students

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Today’s guest contributor is the ICP Summer of Service Fellow Joshua Truitt.

On Tuesday, April 21, 2009, President Obama took a tremendous stride toward supporting youth civic engagement in the United States by signing the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act into law. Included in the legislation is funding for a new innovative program called Summer of Service (SOS).

A national SOS program — to help communities create positive alternatives for middle school students during summer vacations — was first proposed by Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP), an organization committed to increasing youth service opportunities in the United States and abroad. In the summer months, the lack of constructive activities and opportunities for young people often results in academic decline, risky behavior and an increased likelihood of failing to make the transition to high school. Yet, when young people participate in service activities they are better able to control their own lives in a positive way, avoid risky behaviors, strengthen their community connections and become more engaged in their own education.

A national SOS will enable a large number of young teens to participate in service as a “rite of passage” from middle to Continue reading