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CAYWA - Ambitious for Youth Work

This year's Commonwealth Youth Work Week will be one like never before. As a global community, we have all had to manoeuvre to facilitate the unprecedented changes that have impacted us. The Commonwealth Alliance of Youth Workers’ Association (CAYWA) has been no exception to this change but we are excited to be participating in the Commonwealth’s Youth Work Week Nov 2-6, 2020.

The theme for the Commonwealth Youth Work Week is “Ambitious for Youth Work”, this is a theme that is relevant in the current climate that invokes hope and excitement for the future. So why is CAYWA Ambitious for Youth Work?

CAYWA is ambitious for youth work as we strive to promote the standard of practice and professionalisation of youth work throughout the Commonwealth, whilst working towards being the unifying voice of youth work. We are currently working with 47 youth worker associations around the globe, in 23 of the Commonwealth countries. CAYWA encourages education and research of youth work in the Commonwealth making us ambitious for the future of youth work and youth workers.

We are ambitious for youth work as we are endeavouring to support and mentor ALL Commonwealth youth workers' associations.

We asked our member associations why they were ambitious for youth work, and here is what they have to say:

“My ambition for youth work stems from the fact that in Africa, a young population, has a huge potential that can be realized faster if there is a sustainable simultaneous investment in the youth's socio-economic empowerment and securing their rights to equitable access opportunities and services. I am very happy through my ambition, working with us, for the first time, Kenya National Youth Development Policy has recognized youth work practice and the need for its professionalization and creation of an enabling environment. Full implementation of the Youth Work pillar of the policy in Kenya, though ambitious, remains my ambition as we mark 2020 International Youth Work Week.” – Michael Asudi, Country Coordinator and Secretary of International Affairs at the Organisation of Africa Youth, Kenya

“This year’s Youth Work Week is giving the Institute for Youth Work (England) an opportunity to focus on what really matters to us – our members. With this, we are offering special membership deals in the week for Youth Workers and Youth Work organisations based in England (and related free goodies!) as well as dedicated activities, such as our Randomised Coffee Trials event where we connect two random Youth Workers for a chat for 20 minutes over anything they like on Friday, plus other new curated material to be released, such as video interviews with some of our members from across the country.

We hope that through our Youth Work Week activities our membership will grow, giving the Institute for Youth Work an even stronger mandate and voice in the national strategic sphere. This voice for Youth Workers must be present in spaces where Youth Work is being discussed if we are to achieve our mission of access to high-quality youth work provision for all young people. This is how we are ‘Ambitious for Youth Work’.” - Adam Muirhead, Institute for Youth Work, England

“Aotearoa/New Zealand is ambitious for Youth Work as it is the key to seeing young people lead us forward globally, responding to the many challenges we face.”- Jane Zintl, AraTaiohi, Aotearoa/New Zealand

“We are ambitious because youth work provides a new approach to Youth Development. To us, it brings about more professionalism and expertise approach to address prevailing youth challenges such as youth unemployment, militancy, kidnapping and other related problems. Youth Work supports youth-to-youth approach and participation thereby advocating a new generation of youth for a better society.” - Ben Duntoye, Nigerian Youth Workers’ Association (NYWA), Nigeria

“Ambitious for youth work because it takes a community to nurture young people and youth workers are integral to making a contribution. Youth Work has an essential role in promoting civil society and ensuring that young people are not just seen in a future context but as an investment in the present. Youth Workers make a difference in the lives of all young people but in particular some of the most vulnerable young people across the Commonwealth.”- Professor Robyn Broadbent, Chair of CAYWA and Youth Workers’ Association, Australia

“We, in Singapore, are ambitious for Youth Work to be formally recognised as a profession. We desire that those who choose to invest their lives in young people will be duly affirmed, and supported, for their efforts. We are not saying that youth workers should be seeking validation for, and via, their work. Rather, we want to see greater and proper resources allocated such that our nation's young people will be the better for it, overall." - Dr John Tan, Youth Work Association Singapore

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