Integrated Company Report 2018

Young people suffer particularly badly in times of crisis and conflict, yet at the same time they are a source of hope for a more peaceful future. Empowering them also means consolidating a fragile peace. This is why we promote projects that bring children and young people together, and encourage them to cut their own path in life.


Using sport to find a new zest for life – this is the goal of a project in the Palestinian territories that GIZ is implementing on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office. Playing football or volleyball together is designed to improve young people’s wellbeing. After all, everyday life in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has been dominated by conflict for years. People there have to contend with violence, an uncertain economic situation and high unemployment. This traumatises children and young people in particular.

Sport, in combination with psychosocial support, can offer help here, for instance as part of the Sports for Smiles initiative. Through this initiative, around 500 young people, some of them disabled, regularly engaged in sport in 2018 and were assisted by specialised trainers, who in turn discussed issues with psychologists. This is one of many schemes that aim to have a positive influence on child development. In acute emergencies, children can receive direct psychological support. Meeting centres, kindergartens and playgrounds are also being set up.


Young people are often the best ambassadors for a good cause. This is how it is in South Africa, too, where the high level of violence is seen as one of the greatest obstacles to the country’s development. Driving down the level of violence is part of a programme to make communities safer that GIZ is implementing in the country on behalf of the German Development Ministry. It focuses on young volunteers, who receive training in how to go about reducing violence in their districts.

To help youngsters from different areas learn from each other, development worker Thomas Hellmann and his colleagues had the idea of creating an app. They teamed up with similarly dedicated members of a project in neighbouring Lesotho to do this, while the funding for the app came from the GIZ Innovation Fund via an internal competition. The young people are now finding out about other creative ideas through the YouthActs app. This makes their work more effective and more exciting. All in all, over 4,000 young people in South Africa alone have now been put in a position to play an active part in countering violence in their communities, through various programmes and channels.