Voices of Youth


Sub-Saharan Africa's youth population is growing rapidly and as a result, there is a large segment of the population with the potential to affect change on the continent. However, if this potential is not harnessed, the result is a marginalized and disillusioned youth population. This is the case in Senegal, where many young people are acutely aware of the injustices and challenges their communities but lack a space to create and communicate solutions. The creation of such a space is fundamental to building the capacity of Senegalese youth as future leaders and creating a path for them to take ownership of the country’s social and economic progress in the long-term.

Program Summary

Through the “Voices of Youth” competition, Social Change Factory will engage youth in creating solutions to gender injustice and challenges to good governance as a means to not only educate and empower youth, but also link their studies to employment opportunities. This program will convene 500 students from 16 Senegalese universities for a three-phase competition that will include:

  1. Bootcamps: Students will participate in a series of 16 virtual workshops covering issues of gender and good governance as well as training on public speaking.
  2. Competition: 32 of the best of solutions designed by participating students will be presented during a televised debate, where students will also be quizzed on issues covered in the trainings.
  3. Campaign 2.0: Social Change Factory will continue to engage participating students and other youth through a variety of online platforms. This will include interactive online seminars and a social media campaign.

Following the competition, the recordings of the virtual trainings and 16 related toolkits will be available for free download. All of the solutions presented during the debate will also be compiled in a report on youth engagement in local development.


This program will directly educate hundreds of youth on crucial issues and build their capacity to design and present solutions. The televised debates and social media campaign will also raise public awareness about gender and governance issues, and encourage the public’s participation in these discussions through the program’s social media campaign. Furthermore, this program has the potential to produce not only hundreds of young leaders, but also innovative solutions to fundamental development challenges facing the country.


  • OSIWA: financial and technical support for team training
  • Embassy of the United States in Senegal: financial and technical support
  • Total Foundation: financial and technical support
  • Toastmasters: public speaking training
  • WARC: content development support
  • People Input: online marketing and promotional materials
  • Emé Designs: design and creative services
  • Level Studio: audiovisual production
  • Lafée Agency:  event and logistics coordination
  • Sud FM: Radio broadcast partner
  • 2STV: Television broadcast partner

Project Details

Program Status:Active

Program Type:Grantee

Region:Sub-Saharan Africa

Program Countries:Senegal

Dates:November 1, 2015 - October 31, 2016

Rule of Law Index Factors: Open Government (Factor 3), and Civil Justice (Factor 7).

Issue Areas: Education, Government, Media, Women and Girls, and Youth.