Go to the people:
Live with them, learn from them
start with what they know
build with what they have.
- Lao Tzu
Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) is an international non-profit, citizen-sector organization founded in 2000. Partnering with low-income communities in the U.S. and in rural communities in developing nations, YTF creates enriched learning environments in which the appropriate use of technology affords opportunities for marginalized people, particularly youth.
At YTF, we believe in the extraordinary potential of our beneficiaries living, working or schooling in disadvantaged communities. We envision a world in which they are equipped with adequate tools and resources that prepare them to confidently compete for 21st century opportunities. YTF recognizes that technology is not going to solve the problems of these communities, but it is a tool that can be used to help bridge social and economic obstacles. To this effect, YTF’s programs first teach participants first to recognize and speak out about what challenges exist in their community and then demonstrate how to research, document, and disseminate information about these challenges. If during this process, technology is identified as an enabler, it is introduced.
YTF’s theme is, “Delivering to the Community…Bridging the Digital Canyon”. This theme was borne out of an aspiration to empower people, in communities that we work in, to sit in the driver’s seat of their development while accessing the networks, tools and information to make positive change.
"Poverty reduction is about developing people, their experiences and their potential. It is about capacity building, about acquiring life skills enabling them to become better educated and more productive."
YTF focuses on the learning needs of its beneficiaries and making sure those needs are met through equitable access to appropriate life-skills programs. YTF’s people-centered programs are demand driven and demonstrate to our beneficiaries how to think about issues that affect their communities and then apply tools and resources to find solutions. We view our beneficiaries as part of the solution to the problem rather than the problem itself, and we ensure that they are always at the core of the program and implementation.
The marriage of education and technology has the potential to increase efficiency, provide access to new markets or services, create new opportunities for income generation and give poor people a voice. In an effort to strengthen local capacity, YTF partners with community members teaching them how to become producers, and not mere consumers, of solutions to their problems.
The learning environment at YTF promotes creativity and emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving. In the United States, YTF partners with schools and after-school communities in low-income communities to deliver a cross-cultural learning program, LearNations, which connects students on a chosen topic and encourages a higher level of social consciousness, community leadership and global citizenship. In Africa, YTF’s Yes, Youth Can! program strengthens the voices of young people allowing them to play a positive role in democracy and peace-building. All YTF’s programs promote equal training opportunities for girls and women, enabling them to reach their greatest potential.
Thank you for stopping by to learn about our work. We invite you to join us on our journey to becoming one of the most impactful non-profit organizations in the world!