Development cooperation ,20.08.2013

Youth groups constructing political citizenship in Guatemala


More than 70% of the Guatemalan population is under 30 years old, and more than 50 % is under 20 years old. The social problems of the country such as street violence, insecurity, corruption and impunity, poverty and poor quality of basic services, raise serious challenges and threats in the environment the youth grow up in. Nevertheless the issues regarding children and youth are not among priorities of the decision makers. Public investments on childhood and youth are few, and decisions are not based on rights. The cultural environment labelled by adultcentrism prevents the children and youth from raising their voices in the civil society, even though local decision makers have a responsibility to hear and include the relevant stakeholders when preparing public policies.Taksvärkki ry's (ODW Finland) and PAMI's cooperation project will be carried out in 6 municipalities in Guatemala: Malacatán, Coatepeque, Mazatenango, Zunilito, Puerto Barrios, and Morales. The objective is to improve the possibilities of adolescents and youth to act as active citizens and to increase their participation in local decision making processes, so that they can actively contribute to building societies that respect child and youth rights. The project builds on capacitating youth and encouraging them into local level advocacy work, and also providing training to adult decision makers to make them understand the importance of respecting youth rights and especially the right to participate and to be heard. The project contributes in youth's right for organization and participation; good governance, social inclusion and active citizenship. By the proposals the youth make it also contributes in other child rights such as education, safe environment and health care. By capacitating and empowering youth the project is raising a new generation of citizens and political decision makers who base their values on human rights.As a result of this project, six youth movements will emerge in the target areas. The youth movements will network with other entities in local civil societies, act together with local adults, and activate more youth to act for children's and youth's rights and wellbeing in their communities. The youth movements and PAMI activate local civil societies to a process of preparing local public policies about children and youth issues. This is how the rights of the children and youth are officially pushed to the public agendas in six municipalities in Guatemala.


  • 2013: 152 677 €
  • 2014: 150 549 €
  • 2015: 159 352 €

Objectives monitored by OECD's Development Assistance Committee

  • Participatory development/Good governance
  • Gender equality

Field of activity

  • Basic life skills for youth and adults 40%
  • Democratic participation and civil society 40%
  • Human rights 20%

Special target group

  • women
  • girls
  • children
  • youth
  • indigenous peoples / ethnic minorities

Funding channel

  • Taksvärkki ry
  • Programa de Atención, Movilización e Incidencia por la Niñez y Adolescencia (PAMI)



Code for the object of funding