What is the Youth for Water Programme?
The Youth for Water and Climate (YWC) Programme aims to equip youth to become leaders and entrepreneurs to address the challenges of sustainable management of water resources, build climate resilience and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. It also aims to develop common and innovative methodologies to strengthen a global youth partnership addressing capacity-development gaps in the climate and water space.
For the pilot phase, 20 young professionals aged 18-30 years old from France, Sweden, Slovakia, Hungary and Belgium, took part in the 8-month programme which combined in-person workshops, a mentorship opportunity, support in finding an internship, a community of practice and an online curriculum.
The young professional acquired transversal and specific skills to develop bankable projects or access employment opportunities. As a result of the program, 100% of participants are now either studying or employed in the water & climate space.
Following the pilot phase, the YWC Programme partners have developed material which is now accessible to all youth and organizations to replicate and expand the initiative.
Total number of participating youth and mentors
Number of countries represented
Total number of partnering organizations
Being part of this truly committed, professional network of young people and experienced professionals has open so many doors for me.»
YWC Programme participant
Components of the program
Community of practice
The community is a safe platform for collaboration and coordinated action, building leadership capacity, sharing of ideas, and gaining feedback to improve the quality of knowledge and learning approaches in the programme. This online Community facilitates ongoing information sharing among participants; internship opportunities, events, webinars, resource sharing, thematic discussion topics.
From the pilot YWC Program, two in-person workshops were organized, during which the youth met up in Hungary and Sweden as part of their professional enhancement curriculum. These in-person workshops were greatly impactful for the participants, allowing them to gain access to knowledge, experience and to develop connections with their peers, mentors and leading organizations.
Support in finding an internship
Internships are a key element to access employment opportunities. Over the course of the program, partner organizations offered internships to some of the young professionals and mobilized their networks to support as many participants in finding an internship. Some mentors offered internships directly to their mentees.
The YWC Curriculum is an open-source and freely available online course which aims to inform, motivate and prepare youth to develop innovative and disruptive solutions to tackle some of the planet’s biggest challenges, equip them with the needed leadership skills and methodologies to develop their (professional) personality to make a real change, and provide them with methodologies and tools to implement water & climate solutions either as an independent entrepreneur or in a professional career in a existing organization.
The Youth for Water and Climate Roadbook is intended to help guide any organization interested in implementing a programme or initiative to support early career professionals as they enter the water & climate space.
This document proposes some “food for thought” to enable any organization to replicate the project at their own level and in their own field of expertise.
"To achieve water security, we need skilled young water professionals and entrepreneurs. ISW-SWE is proud to lead a consortium of partners, supporting and guiding youth in building successful careers in the water and climate space."
Executive Director, International Secretariat for Water – Solidarity Water Europe