Community

Global Youth Connect

Overview

Empowering Youth, Protecting Human Rights, Changing the World

Our program model, combining training workshops with long-term support to participants, allows us to be relevant to any young person (14-30), anywhere in the world, at any time, and on any human rights issue.

At the same time, we have a particular interest in working in parts of the world where conflict threatens the fabric of human rights, and where young people can and must step forward to promote human dignity.

 

Mission

GYC's mission is to build and support a community of youth who are actively promoting and protecting human rights, and to educate and inspire the next generation to work for peaceful change.

We believe educated, compassionate and empowered youth are the key to achieving tolerance, peace and justice. Our programs encourage young people to work together to stand up to abuses of human rights. GYC practices a holistic approach to youth education and action which is grounded in a commitment to the principles of human rights, community-building, reconciliation and peaceful resolution of conflicts.

Program

A deep-rooted desire to help put an end to the dehumanization and devastation of genocide and mass violence inspires the work of Global Youth Connect. We believe that investing in youth and enabling them to serve as active bystanders to promote and protect human rights is a critical strategy to help prevent and minimize the escalation of conflict as well as heal divided and traumatized communities seeking to rebuild after conflict. Based on our experience, we believe that the concepts and strategies of human rights education offer today’s youth the most powerful tools of understanding and motivation to take action.

The youth (ages 14-30) we work with come from all backgrounds – from the poorest communities to the wealthiest, from the “developed” world to the “underdeveloped” world, and from a wide range of ethnic, national, and religious backgrounds.

Our educational methodology is drawn from a mixture of techniques and strategies used by the popular education movement. Our programs are highly interactive and experiential. We promote a “whole person” approach to leadership development as well as understand the importance of providing experiences for participants to connect with others in to engage in meaningful shared work. Our goal is to help young leaders learn about the ideas, concepts and strategies of human rights through engaging in meaningful dialogue, promoting critical analysis, encouraging self-reflection and fostering action. Emotional and psychological development and community-building are just as important to us as intellectual content.

GYC has organized programs in: Bosnia, Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nepal, Rwanda, Venezuela and the U.S. A new program in Jordan focused on the Iraqi refugee crisis in planned for the summer of 2008.

Impact

"I can’t not go into human rights work. People are too important to be ignored and even though I may not have a huge influence on the situation – whatever I can do is worth it." (GYC Participant, Guatemala Program)

There is no question that today’s youth are growing up in a world with both globalizing and polarizing influences. We are being drawn both together and pushed apart at the same time. We can see the ways that lived experiences in other parts of the world affect our own communities and vice versa. And, we can see the ways in which our misunderstandings, disconnection and mistrust can breed the seeds of conflict, within our own communities and across national and ethnic boundaries.

Some young people have unfortunately already chosen negative weapons: hatred, violence and intolerance. But just as many more young people are choosing the path of peace and human rights.

It is these peaceful efforts that we must encourage and celebrate. We must support youth in overcoming cultural and other differences and tackle the causes of discord and violence between nations, cultures, communities, and individuals. Therefore, GYC is committed to empowering youth who are courageously standing up to ensure respect for the rights and dignity of others and to encouraging the development of collaborative projects aimed at eliminating the root causes of conflict.

We recognize that our vision is ambitious, but we are confident that every effort, no matter how small, will have a larger ripple effect in the world.

Goals 

--Organize training programs in Bosnia, Jordan, Rwanda and Venezuela

--Provide on-going support and mentoring to a growing global community of youth activists

--Expand and deepen our programs and operations, especially in the U.S. and in strategic locations around the world

CEO

Jennifer Kloes has served as Executive Director of Global Youth Connect since 1999. In addition to overseeing the general organizational and program development of GYC, she has organized and led human rights delegations to Rwanda, Guatemala, Cambodia, Nepal and developed human rights, peacebuilding and activism training workshops for young human rights defenders from around the world. Prior to her work with GYC, Jennifer worked as the international programs coordinator for Street Law, an international organization that runs educational programs in the areas of law, human rights, democracy and conflict resolution, on projects in El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Southern and Eastern Africa, and the Newly Independent States. Her background also includes working with Amnesty International, Children's Rights, Inc., and Global Rights on a wide range of human rights issues such as political prisoners in Cuba, Haiti, and Western Africa and children lost in the foster care system of the U.S., among others. Jennifer also conducted an extensive research project on the impact of the UN World Conference of Human Rights (1993). VOICE International published a practical manuscript she wrote entitled "To Promote and Protect Women's Human Rights: A Handbook of Mobilization Strategies for Women's Non-governmental Organizations." Jennifer holds a M.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University and a B.A. in international studies from American University and concentrated her academic studies on international development and human rights.

Board

Hari Acharya
Program Coordinator
Doctors of the World
New York, NYC

Tamsen Bhachech
Staff Attorney
Microsoft
Seattle, WA

Jennifer Kloes
Executive Director
Global Youth Connect
Kingston, NY

Elizabeth Lee
Graduate Student
Regent College
Vancouver, Canada

Cynthia Steele
Executive Vice President
EMPower Foundation
New York, NY

Joel Tolman
Teacher, Civics and History
Common Ground High School
New Haven, CT

Countries 

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jordan, Nepal, Rwanda, United States, Venezuela

States of Operation

New York

Contact

668 Aaron Court
KINGSTON, NY 12401
Phone: (845) 338-2220
www.globalyouthconnect.org
EIN: 52-1655875

 


Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. Human Rights Training for Youth Activists:  GYC provides training to help open the eyes of young peo

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Human Rights Training for Youth Activists: GYC provides training to help open the eyes of young people to some of the world's most pressing human rights challenges and to empower them to be able to be part of the solution. We primarily do this work in parts of the world where violence has torn communities apart and where young people have a unique opportunity and...

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Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. Human Rights Training for Youth Activists:  GYC provides training to help open the eyes of young peo

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Human Rights Training for Youth Activists: GYC provides training to help open the eyes of young people to some of the world's most pressing human rights challenges and to empower them to be able to be part of the solution. We primarily do this work in parts of the world where violence has torn communities apart and where young people have a unique opportunity and...

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Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. Human Rights Training for Youth Activists:  GYC provides training to help open the eyes of young peo

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Human Rights Training for Youth Activists: GYC provides training to help open the eyes of young people to some of the world's most pressing human rights challenges and to empower them to be able to be part of the solution. We primarily do this work in parts of the world where violence has torn communities apart and where young people have a unique opportunity and...

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Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. Human Rights Training for Youth Activists:  GYC provides training to help open the eyes of young peo

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Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. We are committed to mentoring young activists who are working to apply their unique skills and talen

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We are committed to mentoring young activists who are working to apply their unique skills and talents to protect human rights. Through one-on-one mentoring and support, we help make sure young people have an impact on human rights in their community and in the world. This gift will provide 6 months of mentoring to a youth activist who is working to make a difference and...

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Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. We are committed to mentoring young activists who are working to apply their unique skills and talen

Protect Rights

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Global Youth Connect

We are committed to mentoring young activists who are working to apply their unique skills and talents to protect human rights. Through one-on-one mentoring and support, we help make sure young people have an impact on human rights in their community and in the world. This gift will provide 6 months of mentoring to a youth activist who is working to make a difference and...

Regular price $35.00

Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. We are committed to mentoring young activists who are working to apply their unique skills and talen

Protect Rights

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Global Youth Connect

We are committed to mentoring young activists who are working to apply their unique skills and talents to protect human rights. Through one-on-one mentoring and support, we help make sure young people have an impact on human rights in their community and in the world. This gift will provide 3 months of mentoring to a youth activist who is working to make a difference and...

Regular price $100.00