Global Youth Work In Action engaged marginalised young people in global learning by building the skills and confidence of youth workers to lead innovative global youth work.

Young people at the annual youth event, Rolling Globe, where they would share global learning with their peers. Young people at the annual youth event 'Rolling Globe' held in London, March 2012. Photo: YCI / Julie France

Global learning for marginalised young people

The Global Youth Work in Action project was designed to provide spaces outside of the formal education system for marginalised young people to increase their understanding, empathy and interconnection with global issues, international development and poverty.

Over three years from March 2010 to March 2013, the project directly engaged over a 1000 marginalised young people from the UK between the ages of 16-25. Youth workers at more than 30 separate projects across the UK took part in the programme, helping young people to relate the global issues to their own lives.

Funding global youth work

Young people in North Staffordshire YMCA explore the roots of hunger and poverty in the UK and in the global south during a Roadshow

Young people in North Staffordshire YMCA explore the roots of hunger and poverty in the UK and in the global south during a Roadshow

Through a competitive grants scheme, YMCAs and other youth organisations were awarded funding to deliver their global youth work project. Their applications were reviewed by youth workers, sector professionals and young people.

The Global Take Action Grants (GTAG) of up to £1000, were applied for by young people directly. Young people could bid for funding for a project that would support them to learn more about a global issue that they were passionate about. Young people could bid in any format – bids included posters, videos and magazine proposals.

Y Care International offered training and support for each organisation to design, deliver and evaluate their project. The projects explored a range of global issues and explored how they were connected to their everyday lives and how they could take action for positive change. Project themes included:

  • Linking local youth homelessness to global migration
  • Using sport as a tool to explore global development
  • Local drug issues and child soldiers in Colombia
  • BME/LGBT group used drama to explore rights of different sexualities across the globe
  • Young men in a Youth Offenders Institute learn about fair trade

“It put things in perspective of things that can happen in this country and the importance of helping others”

Young person, 24, Belfast YMCA

During the three years Y Care International hosted an annual youth event that brought together young people to share the learning of their projects through workshops that they designed and delivered. Y Care International also visited YMCAs and youth organisations several times a year to deliver global youth work Roadshows – one day training experiences for youth workers and young people to explore global issues.


Each project then collected detailed monitoring and evaluation data which was then collated and analysed by De Montfort University. This was launched at a high profile event in April 2013. The report was written by Dr Momodou Sallah, a senior lecturer from the University and is biggest of its kind published in the UK. You can read the report here.

Key findings of the report include:

  • 91% of young people stated that there were links between their lives and those of young people in the Global South.
  •  98% of young people believed that their knowledge of global development issues increased over the lifetime of the project
  • 91% stated that their global behaviour had changed after engaging with the project
  • Over the three years, 93% of youth workers agreed or strongly agreed they received adequate support from Y Care International.

For more information about the Global Youth Work in Action project then please contact

UK Aid - from the British people


Global Youth Work in Action funded by the Department for International Development