CLA News / Empowering Vulnerable Communities: Women, Youth & Kids Empowerment Initiative for Sustainable Peace & Development


We live in a world where many vulnerable populations, including women, youth, and children, face numerous challenges and obstacles in their pursuit of a better life. However, there are organizations like the Women, Youth & Kids Empowerment Initiative for Sustainable Peace & Development (WYK) that are dedicated to uplifting these marginalized groups and empowering them to create positive change in their lives and communities. As a registered Community Interest Company (CIC), WYK focuses on providing transformative education, capacity development, and advocacy to promote sustainable development and human rights.

WYK’s work revolves around several key activities that target the most vulnerable women, youth, and children. These activities encompass various aspects of empowerment, including education, employability, leadership development, networking, research, and advocacy. By addressing multiple dimensions of empowerment, WYK aims to enable individuals from these groups to actively participate in their respective countries’ development while improving their own circumstances and agency.

In the words of the Founder and CEO, Jamila Al-Abbasi, A British Palestinian, “the world has tried working for a top – bottom to resolve world conflict & work towards implementing UN-SDGs. However, this has not worked due to negative entrenched habits and mindsets. We need to instead work from the bottom up, to build a culture of change, a culture that respects human rights, understands the UN-SDGs, and helps contribute to positive changes within their society, leading to world peace and sustainability. At WYK Empower we do this by planting the seeds of change through learning and fostering growth through research and seeing our communities flourish through practice.”

One of the core strategies employed by WYK is providing transformative education opportunities and capacity development. By equipping women, youth, and children with knowledge and skills, WYK empowers them to pursue their goals and aspirations. This includes implementing employability schemes and entrepreneurship tools to increase their employability skills and creating leadership development programs to foster future leaders.

Moreover, WYK focuses on building networks and partnerships to promote international law, human rights, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through research and curriculum development, WYK develops training materials on these crucial topics, ensuring that individuals have access to valuable knowledge that can inform their actions and promote positive change.

The organization also emphasizes advocacy and lobbying efforts with international bodies such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth to champion the rights of vulnerable groups. By raising awareness about the challenges faced by women, girls, children, and youth, WYK seeks to create a more inclusive and equal society. Through these advocacy initiatives, WYK aims to bring about policy changes and address systemic issues that perpetuate discrimination and marginalization.

The impacts and solutions that WYK envisions are comprehensive and far-reaching. Some of these include, strengthening social systems by promoting the right to expression and work, challenging traditional gender roles and mindsets, empowering individuals to make decisions that can positively transform their lives, and alleviating poverty through education. WYK also aims to eradicate discrimination and gender inequality by promoting human rights and international law, while simultaneously encouraging women’s leadership in senior roles.

Recognizing the importance of education, WYK emphasizes its role in society and strives to enlighten individuals on respecting women and elevating their status. Furthermore, the organization empowers women and youth to protect themselves financially, supports them through entrepreneurship schemes and mentorship, and reinforces the importance of sustainable development goals to promote peace and sustainability.

With a vision of creating sustainable and peaceful communities, WYK aims to empower women, young girls, youth, and children to become agents of change. By fostering a culture that respects human rights and providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills, WYK envisions a future where individuals have the capacity to shape their own destinies and contribute to their communities positively.

To achieve its mission and goals, WYK implements a three-phase support system for marginalized and vulnerable communities. This includes capacity building and idea development, establishing a research department to explore the implementation of human rights in different settings and engage students in researching the visibility of their ideas, and supporting economic development through entrepreneurship and employability programs and finally, connecting students and entrepreneurs from around the world to collaborate and support each other through our alumni. By providing comprehensive support, WYK ensures that individuals have the tools they need to create meaningful change.

The impact of WYK’s initiatives is evident through their successful projects and programs. From piloting human rights and conflict resolution classes to developing a curriculum that links UN-SDGs with human rights, WYK has actively engaged with children, youth, and women to educate and empower them. Additionally, the organization has implemented the Kickstart Program, providing employment and training opportunities to young people, and teaching them valuable skills for work within the field.

WYK’s commitment to research and advocacy extends to the international stage. By providing input to United Nations Special Procedures on various thematic areas, WYK contributes to the reports presented to the United Nations General Assembly. These reports shed light on critical issues such as women human rights defenders, online hate speech, the right to development, and the importance of peaceful assembly and association.

In line with the United Nations Human Rights 75 Pledges and Vision on the Future of Human Rights, WYK is formulating and developing its own global pledge. This commitment further demonstrates WYK’s dedication to promoting and protecting human rights and creating a more inclusive and equitable world.

The Women, Youth & Kids Empowerment Initiative for Sustainable Peace & Development (WYK) is an organization that stands out for its comprehensive approach to empowering vulnerable groups. By addressing various aspects of empowerment, from education to advocacy, WYK strives to create sustainable change and promote a more inclusive society. Through their programs and initiatives, WYK is making a tangible difference in the lives of women, young girls, youth, and children, and paving the way for a better future.

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