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Youth Zones

Each year, millions of young people are affected by wars and natural disasters. With their worlds turned upside down, they often face huge challenges and are forced to assume adult responsibilities. Yet, in the midst of great adversity, young people manage to raise their younger siblings, put food on the table for their families, form youth groups and peace movements and contribute to their community in many positive ways. But, their stories are rarely told. The Youth Zones project allows these voices of struggle and survival to finally be heard.

Youth Zones is a film and poetry initiative supported by the Women’s Refugee Commission and the United Nations Population Fund that gives voice to young men and women affected by conflict and natural disasters. Youth Zones documents the stories of youth from Lebanon, Liberia, Colombia, Northern Uganda and New Orleans—in their own words. The film highlights the incredible resilience of young people who, against the odds, work as educators, peace activists and healthcare assistants in an effort to rebuild their broken communities.

On July 26, there was a special screening of Youth Zones: Voices from Emergencies at the United Nations’ High Level Meeting on Youth. After the screening, some of the young people featured in the film shared their moving stories and poems with the audience. 

You can view the Youth Zones film here and find out how you can help.