Youth Leadership is the Key to Lasting Impact

“Like everyone, I want the best for my neighborhood. … I can’t do it by myself. This is everyone’s job.”

– Mike, Program Participant, Nicaragua


Youth leadership is central to PCI’s mission to empower families and communities to enhance health, end hunger, and overcome hardship. Our programs are committed to transforming the lives of children, youth, and families living in poverty around the world by investing in and recognizing their potential.

Training Young Entrepreneurs in Botswana

In partnership with Barclays Bank of Botswana, PCI has been implementing the Tweende (Let’s Go!) ReadytoWork Project, which provides life skills and entrepreneurial skills development, as well as internship placements to prepare youth for success. To date, more than 4,000 youth have been reached by the project.

ReadytoWork builds on PCI and Barclays’ successful Youth Education and Employment Program, which reached 820 youth and young adults in Maun with financial literacy education and entrepreneurship skills development.

Economically Empowering Guatemalan Teens

Damari, a 13-year-old girl in Guatemala, was curious about her mother’s Women Empowered (WE) group meetings. Damari learned more about the economic and social empowerment program and decided she wanted to join. She has since saved $52 and has a goal of saving enough money to keep studying after middle school and create a better future for her family.

PCI created a leadership and advocacy curriculum in Guatemala to contribute to sustainable youth development in PCI’s youth WE groups. Through this curriculum, youth are mobilized to create community-related action plans that provoke positive social change. They have shown leadership through committing to take on challenges with enthusiasm and deploying social mobilization. To date, about 100 WE and Youth groups are participating in the curriculum.

Guatamalan teen girl

Youth Leaders Promoting Stronger, Safer Communities in Nicaragua

We met Mike when he was a teenager living in Puerto Cabezas, one of the most dangerous parts of Nicaragua. Mike had a violent streak and had even been abusive in relationships, but his eyes were opened to a new way of living life after participating in PCI’s youth leadership course.

PCI’s youth leadership course improves the knowledge, leadership, and advocacy skills of nearly 500 youth promoters, equipping them to mentor 3,000 of their peers in 46 participating communities through information sessions held in schools, churches, homes and community meetings. The leadership course encompasses a series of workshops which focus on youth leadership; human rights; self‐esteem and identity; violence; drug addiction and prevention; and communication through pop art/muralism.

Mike not only became a youth promoter, but also was one of 68 students selected to participate in a local university diploma program on youth leadership and citizen security.

boy and girl laughing

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Support PCI’s efforts to enhance health, end hunger and overcome hardship worldwide.


Fighting Human Trafficking in San Diego with Empowered Girls

PCI’s Girls Only! program along the U.S.-Mexico border combats human trafficking of vulnerable children by empowering young girls with the tools they need to recognize and achieve their greatest potential. Girls Only! seeks to build resiliency by providing girls with inspiring mentors and collaborative peer guidance, interactive lesson plans, and a place to be understood and feel safe. This program encourages young girls to learn to love and honor themselves, giving them the resources to find alternatives to the kinds of abusive relationships that often lead to involvement with gangs, substance abuse, human trafficking, sexual assault, and eventually the criminal justice system.

Jasneek is an 11-year-old girl who likes to draw and aspires to be a brain surgeon when she grows up. She began participating in Girls Only! when she was nine years old and is now involved as an older student helper. Recently, she won the Student-of-the-Year award at her school and continues to thrive as a strong young woman.

Celebration to end human trafficking

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