Powering Change: Young People Leading the COVID-19 Response and Recovery

Our new interim report, “Powering Change: Young People Leading the COVID-19 Response and Recovery” reflects on the youth-led solutions to the impact of the pandemic, challenges and learnings from the first year and key recommendations developed since the launch of the GYM in December 2020.

We are proud to be launching our Global Youth Mobilization progress report a year on since the launch of the National Project and Local Solutions funding. Young people have been at the forefront of the pandemic recovery. Their solutions have helped tackle the effects of COVID-19 for over 800,000 community beneficiaries in 77 countries. You can read our full progress report at globalyouthmobilization.org. Join the movement now. Invest in young people today.

Download the report here: Global Youth Mobilization Interim Impact Report

About the Global Youth Mobilization

The Global Youth Mobilization (GYM), launched in December 2020, is a movement of young people taking action to improve their lives and their communities now and in a post-COVID 19 world.

Powered by the Big Six – the world’s largest global youth organizations – and supported by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Foundation, GYM aims to harness this momentum to address the negative impact of the pandemic on young people and support them to build back better. 

With support from the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, Global Youth Mobilization is supporting and scaling-up youth-led solutions, reinventing funding models and reenergising youth engagement programmes across the world.

Powering Change: Young People Leading the COVID-19 Response and Recovery – Interim Report

In February 2022, GYM launched a new impact report, “Powering Change: Young People Leading the COVID-19 Response and Recovery”, to highlight the reach and investment in young people globally to date. 

An estimated 1.2 billion young people have been impacted by the negative effects of the pandemic. COVID-19 response measures, though necessary, have exacerbated disruptions to education and youth employment opportunities, access to services and social support and added to an increase in gender-based violence cases. 

Since the launch of the GYM, the initiative has achieved the following:  

  • Financed projects directly engaging nearly 200,000 young people in developing and implementing activities supporting over 800,000 community beneficiaries.
  • Invested $600,000 in 183 youth-led projects in 41 countries and funded 74 National Projects with 1.2 million USD across the Big Six in 56 countries to date
  • Focused on scaling up interventions in four key themes: 
    • Overcoming the impacts on mental and physical health challenges caused by lockdowns by providing training programmes, recreational spaces, and access to professional support by supporting over 20,000 young people
    • Directly engaged 52,000 peers in their communities to overcome gender inequality and combat domestic and gender-based violence worsened by lockdowns.  
    • Youth-led solutions have helped over 480,000 people overcome education disruption and employability challenges caused by lockdowns through training, coaching, and access to key resources like books and digital devices.
    • Supported young people to become key figures in their communities, supporting with COVID-19 prevention measures by distributing masks and debunking myths about the virus and vaccines, helping over 300,000 people in their communities.

The report represents an important milestone for the Big Six’s collaboration and is the first operational partnership at a global scale between the six world-leading youth-focused organisations. It also demonstrates the power of youth-led, collective decision-making and the importance of implementing new and accessible funding opportunities for youth development. 

Commenting on the report, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said: 

“WHO is proud to support the global movement to engage and empower young people as a driving force in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with the Big Six and the United Nations Foundation has provided a unique opportunity to learn from millions of young people and be guided by their enthusiasm and ideas to help communities build back better.
What the Big Six have achieved in a year through launching and implementing the Global Youth Mobilization is phenomenal and unparalleled in the youth development sector. We look forward to continuing our support and encourage other partners to join the mobilization and invest in the health and well-being of future generations.”

Meanwhile John May, Secretary-General of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award said: 

“The Award is proud to travel in partnership with our ‘Big Six’ colleagues as a founding member of the Global Youth Mobilization – a global movement to empower young people as a driving force in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are honoured to have been given this unique opportunity to learn from and alongside young people.   In particular, it is a privilege to be guided by their insight and knowledge to help reimagine a better world for future generations.

This interim report marks an important milestone in this historic operational partnership between the world’s biggest youth-focused organisations. It is unparalleled in the youth development sector.”