Who, What, Why, Where and How? Youth Councils in Foundations

How do children learn what makes a good donation? How do children learn what can be done about child poverty? How do children learn about child labour in India? How do children become engaged citizens, donors, philanthropists? These were the questions that faced us at the start of a long dialogue between Children for a better World e.V. (CHILDREN) and the charity Active Philanthropy gGmbH.

CHILDREN has been involving children in its grant decisions through youth councils since its foundation in 1994. Active Philanthropy has from its earliest days tried to answer the question of how to establish a sustainable culture of giving. One question surfaces time and again: how to encourage children to become socially engaged.
The natural progression from the discussion of these questions was a search for the answers, and the result is this report on youth councils in foundations.

True youth participation remains, in our view, the exception and not the rule. But the real-world examples show clearly that children and young people make creative, competent and excep- tionally responsible decisions about the resources entrusted to them.

This report marks the start of the YOUTH COUNCILS campaign, with which CHILDREN hopes to spread awareness of the subject among foundations, inform their representatives, and put tools in their hands.

So, how do children learn what makes a good donation? How do children learn what can be done about child poverty? How do children become engaged citizens, donors, philanthropists? Our answer: let the children themselves decide!

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