Timor-Leste has one of the youngest populations in the world, with more than three quarters under 30. Opening pathways for young people – allowing them to get an education, find employment and engage in public life – will be critical for building lasting peace and development.
The Bank’s Youth Development Project is helping Timor-Leste promote youth empowerment and inclusion by expanding skills and opportunities. Through the project, funds are made available to youth groups in villages for things like livelihood activities, social events, construction of small infrastructure, and life skills training. These are identified, prioritized and implemented by the young people themselves and overseen by local youth team leaders.
So far, 174 community projects have been completed.
In July this year, I travelled around Lautem District in the east of Timor-Leste to meet young people participating in the project. These are their stories.