We are committed to community-led, sustainable development projects and a belief in the power of volunteers to create real change. Sustainable Development Goals are a list of goals outlined by the United Nations to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the main global challenges we face, such as poverty, inequality, climate change, peace and justice. World Youth International prioritises sustainable development projects, particularly to end inequality, empower women and promote good health and wellbeing.
One of the main ways we work to end inequality is by providing access to education within developing countries such as Nepal and Kenya. An example of this is through the opening of the World Youth International School in 1999, which provides pre-school, primary, and high school education, creating lifelong learning opportunities for all. The School is now ranked in the top 2% of all schools in Nepal, showing how the organisation has bridged Nepal's educational gap. Over 60% of students at the school are female, many of which receive scholarships to attend. Furthermore, World Youth International has contributed to the construction of over 12 schools throughout Nepal and Kenya.
But do these children have a safe and suitable environment away from the classroom?
In 2001, the organisation built the Sapana Dreaming Centre for Humanity in Nepal to ensure that children receive a safe and nurturing environment in which to grow up. Each child receives access to primary and high school education and out of school hours tuition. 2021 is a special year at the Centre as it acknowledges 20 years of operation.
While the Centre has ensured that many vulnerable children have access to a quality education, World Youth International realised that the Centre was not sustainable on its own. These children who grew up in the Centre did not have suitable accommodation or additional tertiary study opportunities once they left. In 2005, the Lyn Schodde Education Fund was introduced to ensure that the students over 18 still had other tertiary study opportunities such as a trade, college or university. So many of World Youth International School students have been able to enter the workforce in a range of industries and professions. An example is Anil, a proud graduate who completed his undergraduate certification in Business Administration in Nepal. He arrived in Adelaide in 2019, and has been pursuing his dream of completing a Master’s Degree in Accounting. He aspires to have a successful accounting career.
Much like how World Youth International have empowered and inspired young people such as Anil in Nepal, we have also empowered families in Western Kenya through the Asembo Goat Breeder's Association to help them deliver sustainable development projects so they can generate their own income. Asembo Bay is located in a very rural area of Western Kenya, where many people live in extreme poverty. The association consists of 10 families of goat breeders, focusing on improving livelihoods, gender equality, family health and farming methods for the whole community.
Each family has purchased a goat and used it to produce their income by selling goat milk at local markets. By providing community members with the opportunity to earn their income, this partnership has provided them with a 'hand up' rather than a 'hand out'. Men and women work together to make decisions and manage their small goat farms. The Association increases its member numbers every year. It provides training and resources to local farmers so they can improve their livelihoods. These projects align with the UN’s initiatives to end poverty, promote sustainable agriculture and achieve gender equality.
World Youth International have also partnered with The Nam Lowle Cooperative, located in the rural village of Odede in Kenya. The Cooperative is a local group made up of community members who participate in different projects to improve their livelihoods collectively. World Youth International collaborates with the Cooperative to support them in designing and implementing sustainable projects. Some initiatives include providing clean drinking water, sustainable farming, and other sanitary hygienic practices.
The Cooperative wanted to provide its members with microloans to start small businesses or other projects, with the flexibility to pay back the loan later. Over 90% of loans have been repaid in full. Many members are using the loans to start micro-businesses, such as selling fish at the local markets. Most of the borrowers are women, so when they use the loans to generate more income for themselves, it facilitates sustainable economic growth and gender equality, as women become more self-reliant through financial means.
World Youth International has always aimed to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education through its various sustainable development projects related to health and wellbeing for all and in 2013 opened the Odede Community Health Centre in western Kenya. Before 2013, around 70% of women in Odede gave birth in unsafe conditions, under the supervision of untrained midwives or female relatives. Every 1 in 5 women lost their lives due to birthing complications in this region. World Youth International identified that within impoverished communities, women needed adequate access to healthcare to experience healthy pregnancies and deliver healthy babies. The need for a safe Health Centre with trained midwives and nurses was a necessity.
The Community Health Centre is a project that has provided sustainable development by ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all in Odede. In the 2019/2020 financial year, 696 women received ante-natal care, 170 received post-natal care, and 137 babies were delivered safely.
To further the sustainable impact that the Health Centre can have on the community, World Youth International recently opened its new Maternal Health Centre. This new facility means even more women in Kenya can access maternal health care. Children can have the healthiest start to life possible, despite the vulnerable circumstances. The Maternal Health Centre is situated adjacent to the Odede Community Health Centre. Two full time trained nurses currently staff it. The Odede community will use it to ensure their women progress smoothly with their pregnancies and then receive support after they give birth as they embrace motherhood.
In 2013, World Youth International launched the Nurses in Action volunteer program. Open to Australian registered nurses, enrolled nurses, students, midwives, paramedics, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, the program focuses on delivering essential healthcare services in conjunction with a range of quality educational programs. This program aligns with the UN’s sustainable development goal of promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. We can empower the next generation of nurses by encouraging the sharing of skills and knowledge across cultures. By caring for some of the world’s most vulnerable people in Kenya, alongside Kenyan Nurses and Midwives, men and women within the program are exposed to eye-opening experiences that stay with them forever.
Last year, the Odede Community Health Centre was one of the world's first medical facilities to roll out a childhood vaccine for malaria prevention. Malaria is one of the most prevalent health issues in many Kenyan villages. This vaccination program will have a long-term and sustainable impact on these communities and take the country closer to eradicating the disease. Other communal diseases such as diabetes, pneumonia and typhoid fever have continued to plague the Odede community. In the 2019/20 financial year, there were 258 cases of diabetes, 410 cases of pneumonia and 48 cases of typhoid fever recorded at the Odede Hospital. World Youth International is continuously striving to find a sustainable solution to combat these diseases and eradicate them from the community, while also ensuring the community has access to quality healthcare.
if you’re passionate about giving back to underprivileged communities in Kenya and Nepal and want to invest in future projects, corporate sponsors are invited to join World Youth International’s Partnerships Program.
Our Partnerships Program offers a variety of ways for organisations to partner with us to develop unique and mutually beneficial campaigns. We pride ourselves on working closely on projects that are tailored specifically to align with the organisation’s objectives and corporate social responsibility values. To explore these worthwhile opportunities further, please contact Gabriella Ocenasek, Partnerships & Marketing Director.