Youth United for Global Action and Awareness (YUGA) at Plan International USA is a collection of young people that believes indifference to social injustice is a treatable condition. What is this teen-powered YUGA network? It's a force of young people from Laos, Missouri, and every place in-between who are daring to be divergent thinkers, refuse to be labeled, and aren't afraid to ask the most powerful question ever: "Why?"
We bring discussions about global justice into the classroom and into communities. We are allies with youth leaders and teachers, and we are always looking to grow our family to include...YOU!
Today is the youngest we are ever going to be, so join us if you want to make a difference and help raise awareness of important global issues!
YUGA not only helps young people help their communities, but it helps young people help themselves.
As a YUGA member, you will gain skills that will help you become a leader and give you the confidence to succeed. YUGA members are persistent, creative, and innovative. They are independent, diplomatic, flexible thinkers who never shy away from a challenge, and who all have a vision for a better world.
YUGA allows young people to fully recognize their power as leaders and change makers. YUGA pushes beyond traditional ideas of leadership and stereotypes of youth laziness and apathy, empowering young people to create a more dynamic, healthy, and understanding world. So hopefully by now you get it: We’re pretty amazing, and when you join us, we’ll be even better!
YUGA members are active in their schools and communities, running campaigns, projects, and fundraisers to take action on and raise awareness of global issues. We know that girls are more likely to eat dinner last, be forced into an early marriage, and be subjected to violence and we’re not okay with that. YUGA members know that gender inequality is an issue that needs to be addressed in almost every country so we join forces with Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign.
Likewise, most of us are lucky enough to walk a few steps into our kitchen and have access to clean, fresh water. However, many people across the globe do not have proper access to clean water and have to walk miles to reach the nearest well or water source. Walk4Wells, another important campaign, outlines the importance of water and sanitation, raises awareness about the global water crisis, and raises funds to build wells in developing communities!
YUGA campaigns are not “cookie cutter.” We encourage YUGA members to use their creativity to make these campaigns their own! At Plan, we believe in the power of today’s youth and that YUGA members are more than capable of having a positive impact on the world. So join our network of awesome and spirited young people who are changing the world!
STILL NOT CONVINCED?
HERE ARE SOME REASONS WE THINK YOU SHOULD JOIN YUGA:
Roll Deep: You’ll join a network of hundreds of young people from across the country (and around the world) who have your back and are tackling the same issues as you.
Make the World Suck Less: We know you care; this is your chance to do something. You’ll be a change maker in your community and school -- you’ll be fighting for important issues, advocating for change -- and will make a global as well as local impact.
Stand Up!: You’ll gain amazing leadership experience, and could have the opportunity to represent Plan at major conferences and events. If you’ve never had leadership experiences before, don’t worry, we’re always in need of fresh faces!
YUGA’s mission is to build a youth-led grassroots movement that creates a world where all people live in just and sustainable societies. YUGA supports young people of all backgrounds and personalities in their leadership journeys and helps them realize their potential to make an impact on the world. No matter what leadership experience you have had in the past, we are willing to support you and provide you with the resources you need to make an impact in the world and pay it forward!
HOW DID WE START?
YUGA began after the Global Connections Youth Conference in 2004. At the conference, students from the northeast United States came together with young people from 30 different developing countries, aiming to build a community of youth that wanted to better understand the world and make a difference. The experience was so powerful that the teens wanted to stay involved in Plan’s work and enrich their understanding of global issues, resulting in YUGA.
Today, the evolution of this bold vision has inspired, helped, and challenged hundreds of young people around the world (yes, you read that right). Through their involvement with YUGA, young activists from across the U.S. educate and organize their schools and communities on a range of global issues, while connecting and learning with each other!