Empowering Youth

Young people are our future. Called by our Gospel mission, CRS is launching a global initiative to educate, employ and empower young people.

I would say to people who do not believe in young people: Give us a chance.”

—Bayron Alejandro Cazún Castro, El Salvador youth program participant

The Need

Each year, CRS supports more than 150 million people in more than 100 countries. Now it is time to take our work to scale. Through its Vision 2030 agency strategy, CRS has identified priority outcomes that best align to our mission and expertise. One of those priorities is empowering youth.

$26 Million
Empowering Youth Campaign Target
5 Million
Young People Empowered to Thrive and Lead
3 Dollars Return for each $1 Invested in Youth Development by Year 3
$7-$11 per Day
Income for Youth in CRS Programs Compared to $5 for Most Workers
Edwin Montoya López and Josué Marcelino Zamora give a boat tour in Somoto Canyon National Park in Nicaragua. They formed their own business with a friend, Somotana Tours, after participating in CRS’ Jovenes Constructores (YouthBuild) program.

The Opportunity

Over the next 10 years, through skills training and opportunities to return to school, CRS will give young people the chance to pursue safe, productive futures in their home community. Together, we can transform a generation.

Through Go FAR, CRS will empower 5 million young people to thrive and lead by providing training and opportunities.

Why It Matters: Empowering Youth

Too many young men and women are out of school, unemployed or underemployed. Without safe opportunities to learn and work near their homes, their lives—and the global economy—will suffer.

By giving young people the chance to pursue safe, productive futures in their home communities, we can break the chains of poverty.

We are proud to share the stories of the people we serve as we empower youth and build a stronger future for us all.

Portrait of Bayron Alejandro Cazún Castro, 26, incharge of Communications and business relations of Raindrop a youth business in charge of agriculture landscape restorations and moisture measurements seen at San Reymundo Coffee Estate, in Ahuachapán, El Salvador that belongs to a cooperative that works with RAICES AHUACHAPAN project.

Key Projects

Fostering Workforce Development

Young generations are growing up without jobs to turn to, or the skills to forge their own path. In many developing nations where youth populations are growing exponentially there are few workforce preparedness opportunities to equip people with marketable tools. CRS is empowering youth by filling these resource gaps. Through partnerships with governments and businesses, CRS will provide young women and men with life and job skills training on topics like entrepreneurship, financial literacy and leadership.

Boosting Digital Entrepreneurship in East Africa

East Africa is younger than ever. In Tanzania, for example, two-thirds of the population is under age 25. Each year, many try to enter the job market, but only enough formal sector jobs are created to absorb about 6% of them. CRS is enrolling youth in our proven micro-finance and entrepreneurship programs. CRS’ digital platforms will provide youth with online vocational courses and connections with mentors. Through these efforts, we can empower more young people with the knowledge and agency to gain safe, formal employment and to build profitable enterprises of their own.