Approach / Methodology

“A Society which does not invest in its youth, is not investing in its future”

The Young Men Initiative (YMI) uses a positive youth development and youth work framework as a tool for promoting positive outcomes in the lives of young men.  We use the following definition in defining youth work:

“the personal and social development of young people and their social inclusion.”

In addition we believe the purpose of youth work is:

“To work with young people to facilitate their personal, social and educational development and enable them to gain voice, influence and place in society in a period of their transitions from dependence to independence. “

Youth work principles

We believe the following principles should guide our work with young people:

Respect for young people

  • Listen to young people
  • Engage in dialogue
  • Learn from them
  • Value young people’s points of view
  • Recognize that young people may have a different perspective  from other age groups
  • Respect individuality…reject negative labels
  • Recognizing young people’s rights to liberty and equality and to be treated with dignity
  • Promote positive images and opportunities for young people
  • Challenge negative stereotypes of young people
  • Be open and honest with young people

Voluntary participation

  • Allow young people to chose to participate
  • Create welcoming environments and positive activities
  • Keep young people informed about opportunities and resources
  • Provide opportunities for young people to take responsibility for choice and decisions in their lives
  • Enable young people to have a voice, participate in decision making and address issues that affect them


  • Recognize that youth work is for the benefit of all young people and particularly for those young people who human rights are at risk
  • See youth work as an agency for change and challenge for the status quo
  • Take positive steps to address oppression and the effects of oppression
  • Respect differences and build bridges  between different groups and individuals
  • Inform others about oppressive language, attitudes, practice and structures


  • Recognize that young people may disclose information to youth workers that they are not ready to tell others
  • Prior to disclosure inform young people to any boundaries to confidentiality, especially any situations that could require further intervention

Ethical practice

  • Always seek out opportunities to improve practice
  • Be reliable and trustworthy
  • Maintain youth work values and principles

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