The Y2Y “Youth Voices” program was first initiated by the WBG office in Lima, Peru in 2002 as Youth New Voices (Voces Nuevas), a voluntary advisory group composed of 23 non-staff young Peruvian men and women from various backgrounds. The program was so successful that during a visit to Peru in November 2002, the then World Bank President James Wolfensohn encouraged the participants to prepare a proposal, based on the Peru model, that could be replicated in other countries. Following his visit and recommendation, since 2002, the Youth Voices Initiative, nurtured by Y2Y leadership, has formed active chapters in Brazil, Georgia, Jordan, and Lebanon.
The program uses a hyper-localized approach in which Youth Voices Chapters (composed of external youth volunteers who are led by a country-based World Bank staff member) advise on and provide a youth-focused angle to World Bank lending operations and analytical work in the corresponding country office where a local chapter is established. By integrating youths’ contributions and addressing the challenges they specifically face, this will enable World Bank interventions to be more youth-informed. This directly contributes to and aligns with the Y2Y mission of “empowering, inspiring, and engaging youth around the world.”
World Bank Group country staff who are interested in launching a local Youth Voices Chapter within their country should contact Y2YYouthVoices@worldbankgroup.org.