About YUGA

Who are we?

YUGA — Youth United for Global Action and Awareness is a network of young people around the US who aim to promote global change through increased understanding, awareness and action on local and global issues.

YUGA members run campaigns in their schools and communities throughout the year to get their peers involved in global issues and engaged as agents of change in our world.

YUGA is an initiative of Plan USA's Youth Engagement and Action Program. The YEA program seeks to build and strengthen a network of young people, youth groups and organizations, and adult allies who raise awareness and take action on issues that affect children and youth around the world.

We believe that young people have the power to make positive change and, by listening to a diverse range of youth voices, we can resolve some of the world's most pressing issues, such as extreme poverty, child exploitation and HIV/AIDS. We know that this effort must be people-centered and that U.S.-based efforts must work in cooperation and solidarity with other youth movements in the United States and globally.

How can you get started?

Educators! Contact us for more information on classroom resources, interactive workshops and presentations, and support to bring global issues into your classroom in creative ways.

Global issues to act on

What does YUGA care about? What do we believe in? What do we do about it?

Climate change
YUGA educates about how our daily life can negatively (or positively!) affect the environment> We work together to stop climate change in our communities through simple, everyday efforts. With every passing day it becomes more important to take steps to decrease our impact on the earth and our use of resources. World leaders have promised in the Millennium Development Goals to ensure environmental sustainability globally by 2015. YUGA wants to make sure this happens!

Global Poverty
YUGA advocates for an end to global poverty and its root causes around the world, and speaks up for children everywhere who are denied their basic human rights. We urge our national and world leaders to make the changes necessary to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 to end hunger, improve the health of children and mothers, increase education, and decrease the debt of developing countries. YUGA also takes action locally against hunger and poverty, because we believe every step helps.

YUGA campaigns yearly in our communities on HIV and AIDS, and advocates for people affected by AIDS throughout the world, especially children and youth. We encourage people in the US to be more aware of their own vulnerability to HIV and AIDS, and to get tested! Internationally, we work to support Plan programs in developing countries which are helping to educate, treat, and prevent the spread of the AIDS pandemic.

Child Rights and Child Exploitation
YUGA works to raise awareness about child labor, child trafficking, and child soldiers. We believe that much of the world’s conflict is caused by poverty and social injustice, and that we can address those issues. We encourage people to ensure that their food and clothing are not produced by child labor. YUGA supports programs to address the conditions that lead to child trafficking and that address its impact on children and families. Join our campaign to get the United States to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and help protect children in the United States and children everywhere from being exploited.

Gender Equality: Because I am a Girl
YUGA strongly believes that every girl and boy are equal, but that there is still a lot of work to be done here in the United States and around the world to ensure gender equality. We believe in empowering girls and women. We believe in engaging boys and men because the impact of gender inequality is felt by everyone. YUGA raises awareness about gender inequality still existing in the US in media, music, stereotypes, and expectations, and advocates for equal wages and equal opportunities. Girls are half of the world’s population; join YUGA in empowering their voices and promoting their rights.