Powering Change: Young People leading the COVID-19 response and recovery

Thursday 2 June
13:30-14:45 CEST
Stockholmsmässan, Room 1

Organizers: Global Youth Mobilization powered by The Big 6: World Organization of the Scout Movement, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, World Young Women’s Christian Association, World Young Men’s Christian Association, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

About: An estimated 1.2 billion young people have been impacted by the negative effects of the pandemic. COVID-19 response measures, though necessary, have exacerbated disruptions to education and youth employment opportunities, access to services and social support and added to an increase in gender-based violence cases.

Young people have been at the forefront of the pandemic recovery. Their solutions have helped tackle the effects of COVID-19 for over 800,000 community beneficiaries in 77 countries.

The Global Youth Mobilization (GYM), launched in December 2020, is a movement of young people taking action to improve their lives and their communities now and in a post-COVID 19 world.

Powered by the Big Six – the world’s largest global youth organizations – and supported by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Foundation, GYM aims to harness this momentum to address the negative impact of the pandemic on young people and support them to build back better.

This session will showcase the role young people have been playing in supporting communities to overcome the impact of the pandemic. It will include a panel of young people and youth-led organisations sharing their ideas and include a discussion on lessons learned for youth development practitioners and policymakers.

Moderator(s): Kazi Zubair Hossain (World Organization of the Scout Movement)


  • Sam Williams (Global Youth Mobilization)
  • Ninni Ikkala Nyman (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies)
  • Vsevolod Lukashenok (YWCA-YMCA)
  • Kehkashan Basu (Green Hope Foundation)
  • Cristina Romanelli (WHO)
  • Juan Pablo Celis Garcia (UNEP)

Contact person: Hannah Graham (hannah.graham_at_scout.org)

Event outcomes (Key transformative actions):

  • Young people must be at the heart of a sustainable, healthy and fair Covid-19 recovery. The problems created by the pandemic are far-reaching and have disproportionately impacted young people. It has widened inequalities and exposed significant governance failures. We call on member states, the international system and corporations to fundamentally overhaul decision-making structures and ensure that meaningful representation and youth-led decision making is prioritised and realised

  • We must radically change the way youth development work is funded, making it more accessible for communities around the world, increasing investment and seeking new innovative ways to fund youth-led and youth focused organisations, with a particular focus on underrepresented communities. To support this, we need member states and the international system to empower young people to lead, develop and implement youth-led local solutions to the triple planetary crisis through effective non-formal education and learning

  • Working in collaboration with public health professionals, member states and the international system we must ensure equitable access to effective mental health healthcare and support for children and young people, regardless of background, gender or employment status.



Return to Programme