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Founder’s message

At YTF, we believe that all human life has equal value and that information technology plays a unique role in increasing economic opportunity and quality of life.

We believe in youth.  We believe in their mothers.  We believe that in developing nations technology can have a transformational effect on their lives.

Young people in the world today are growing up amidst political, economic, social and technological change that will affect them profoundly. Given the right training, they will use these changes and the tools that come from them to develop innovative solutions to society’s latent and emerging problems.

Technology is a means.  Not an end.  Technology must be appropriately integrated into a framework in a way that addresses a real need in the community and leads to sustainable social change.  From YTF’s inception, we have been relentlessly committed to the holistic, positive development of youth and their mothers where they live and work.  Our strength lies in our ability to accurately assess community needs, design development programs, provide linkages that accelerate opportunities, and effectively administer customized training in partnership with our beneficiaries.

We know that while it is important to increase the employability of youth in Africa and in Latin America (where we’ve most recently expanded), it is also essential to facilitate dynamic structural changes to create jobs for youth or to inspire them as entrepreneurs.  In so doing, the youth bulge – which currently poses a serious risk for developing nations – can be transformed into a demographic dividend. Read about Sonny , one of our beneficiaries in Nigeria, who exemplifies the transformative response we seek in our youth.

YTF is committed to educating the developing world’s future leaders and entrepreneurs.  The youth and women we work with today will be the ones who drive innovation tomorrow and into their countries’ future.  We must continue to ignite within our beneficiaries the passion to create, discover, and lead. We much teach them to view mistakes as opportunities; to retool, learn and improve.  We must also instill in these youth the importance of guiding future generations to continue the pursuit of innovative solutions to our societies’ most pressing problems.

Women are pillars of the communities in which YTF operates.  They are critical to local and global business success and are more likely to invest their income on food, education and healthcare for their families.  We know that investing in women is not only the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do, because when women experience economic gain, so do their families and communities.  We’re dedicated to the continual development of programs to support, train, and inspire women to step out boldly as entrepreneurs, community leaders, and confident, competent trailblazers for their children.

At YTF, we owe much of our success to our “family” – our beneficiaries, our staff, our board, our corporate and individual supporters.   We have encouraged their openness and creativity, and provided them an outlet to make a difference in the world using their own individual gifts and talents. We have often worked as a team – teaching humility by such disposition, rewarding character and virtue, and in particular faithfulness and loyalty.  Our volunteers are amazing and our commitment to them and theirs to us has been recognized twice in five years through recognition with the United Nations’ online volunteer of the year award.

Building an organization is an ongoing process. While we are not perfect, we continue to be one of the most impactful organizations. We have had and continue to have our share of successes as well as challenges. We have made it a habit to share best practices, learn from our challenges and deliver. In our mission, we cultivate an entrepreneurial culture in young people by unleashing the potential for them to create, catalyze and take advantage of opportunities provided to them while remaining ethical.

Now in our 13th year, we are poised to chart and achieve new responsibilities in this next era of invention.  From educating tomorrow’s leaders and innovators to co-creating community hubs that will lead to life-improving ideas, we will lay the groundwork this year for bold new prophecies that will continue to astonish for years to come.

By focusing on community and innovation, YTF will be a place where anything is possible.
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