Because youth matter, Nestlé announces a new collaboration with UNESCO to invest in young people’s potential.

March 21, 2023

Because youth matter, Nestlé announces a new collaboration with UNESCO to invest in young people’s potential.

In order to give young people the tools and training they need to create and implement novel solutions that have a positive social effect in their communities, Nestlé and UNESCO have announced a new collaboration. A call for applications will be issued for the initiative in Latin America. Future plans call for expanding the partnership to a global scope. UNESCO and Nestlé will work together to carry out the “Because Youth Matter” collaboration.

Twenty grants of $10,000 each will be given in 2023 to support the development and implementation of socially impactful changemaking strategies by young innovators, leaders, and youth organisations. The experts from Nestlé and UNESCO will provide training sessions and guidance to grantees as their projects are developed. With UNESCO’s assistance, the grantees will also present their concepts and solutions to decision-makers and members of civil society, which will increase their effect.

The applications will be evaluated by a worldwide jury made up of rising young leaders and specialists from Nestlé and UNESCO. The grant recipients, who range in age from 18 to 30, will be chosen based on their capacity to bring about societal change in their neighbourhoods.

This collaboration seeks to support young people in realising their full potential at a time when the world is dealing with numerous crises. The Covid 19 Pandemic’s consequences, climate change’s prevention and mitigation, and the shocks of the Ukraine War are all challenges that nations are still battling to overcome. 80% of young people worldwide are susceptible to depression and disillusionment,1 and more than one in five young people (under 25) are not in employment, education, or training, which jeopardises their prospects for future employment. Youth are among those most affected by these issues. Their mental health is also deteriorating.2 Young women are especially susceptible to poverty and bad mental health. The urgency of this call is increased by the reality that there are more than 1.2 billion young people in the world today.

“Young people need to be offered the chance to start their own businesses and invent new things. They promote societal and economic advancement, but the world does not give them enough support. They receive no cash assistance and are not involved in decision-making. We hope to make a difference and assist upcoming leaders in finding their voice and putting their ideas into action through this exciting new partnership with UNESCO, said Laurent Freixe, Nestlé’s CEO for Zone Latin America and the brainchild behind the 2013-launched Nestlé Needs YOUth project.

Through its Nestlé needs YOUth program, Nestlé has been empowering youth for ten years, and this new collaboration expands on that work. The initiative assists youth in accessing apprenticeships, traineeships, and job opportunities with the aim of enabling 10 million young people worldwide to access economic possibilities by 2030. With regard to the three pillars of employment & employability, agripreneurship, and entrepreneurship, it has helped more than 5 million young people globally. The Social and Human Sciences Sector partnership with UNESCO is a significant development in Nestlé’s dedication to youth.

“Young people should have the opportunity to thrive and, through that success, to change the world. We cannot carry on as normal, which is why UNESCO is collaborating with Nestlé to support the realisation of young people’s ideas so they can contribute to transforming our society. Our collaborative programme will give young people a platform to make a difference, motivating many others, both young and elderly, to do the same. We need all the young people we can get on board to tackle the many problems we face. Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO, Gabriela Ramos.

The Global Youth Grant Scheme of UNESCO includes the initiative “Because Youth Matter,” which mobilises monetary and in-kind support for young people all over the globe. In addition, the programme takes advantage of the Organization’s 20 years of experience working with young people around the world by establishing and supporting youth-led initiatives and networks, enhancing youth capabilities, encouraging their knowledge production through the “Young as Researchers Initiative,” and fostering dialogue spaces between youth, policymakers, and other partners.

Global Risks Report, 2021 by the World Economic Forum; Trends 2023 by the International Labour Organization.