Wherever they’re from, youth between the ages of 12 and 19 face some of the most difficult years in their lives. The challenging physical and social changes these years bring can make youth more vulnerable to negative peer pressure and to experiment with alcohol and drugs.

Unfortunately, for many youth, the paths they choose during these formative years will set the course of their lives.

How We Help

Children International's Youth Programs are designed to give youth positive options. We engage youth with social groups and fun activities that help prepare them for the transition into adulthood. Here are just a few of our youth-specific activities:

  • Youth Health Corps (YHC) — Our unique YHC provides important health and safety lessons to sponsored youth, then trains them to become peer educators who share that information with other youth in their communities. By teaching others about sanitation, hygiene, drug prevention, reproductive health and AIDS, our youth improve their communities and the health of the children and families who live there.

  • Leadership training — Group activities and lessons help youth learn about themselves, work effectively with others and develop self-confidence to increase their chances of success.

  • Youth Council – Each CI agency has a group of democratically-elected youth leaders called the Youth Council. Each Youth Council receives an annual Youth Empowerment Fund – a monetary grant to be used to fund various community-improvement projects like park and shore restoration programs, the construction of clean-water sources, additional toilets at public health clinics, and more. These projects are conceived by individual youth and are presented to the Council, which then votes on which projects to fund. In this way, youth learn the fundamentals of leadership, democracy, project organization and teamwork – and become positive agents of change in their communities.

Children International


Each year, we survey sponsored youth and analyze the results to create the Youth Report Card. This comprehensive report provides detailed evidence that youth graduating from the sponsorship program are more capable, confident and ready to improve their lives and communities.