GYC advances human rights through cross-cultural programs for emerging leaders, focusing on post-genocide and post-violence countries.

When I think of home, I think of Cambodia.
I was first there with GYC.
- GYC Delegate

About GYC

Founded in 1999 by young leaders from both the USA and post-genocide countries such as Guatemala and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Global Youth Connect advances human rights by empowering young activists from around the globe to meet face-to-face, exchange ideas and take action together in collaboration with grassroots NGOs, policy makers, and other stakeholders.

GYC provided me with the necessary connections and experience to obtain a job with Health Development Initiative.
– Local Rwandan Participant

Our Mission

GYC is dedicated to empowering youth from around the world (but especially in post-violence situations) to work together cross-culturally not only with each other but also with civil society organizations and policy makers to advance the use of the human rights framework as a tool for social change and to ensure that all human rights are fulfilled for all people.

Our Methodologies

GYC’s programs provide young leaders (ages 14-35) from a wide range of ethnic, national, economic and religious backgrounds with opportunities to learn more about human rights and enhance their ability to take action on pressing human rights issues. 

Our programs weave together:  experiential training programs and workshops; skills development in grassroots organizing, conflict transformation, human rights activism and leadership; mentoring and technical support for on-going organizing efforts; on-the-ground experience in human rights organizations and doing human rights work; and connection to an international community of youth activists who are actively promoting and protecting human rights, as well as educating and inspiring the next generation to work for peaceful change. 

A truly life altering experience. I loved every moment of it!
– Jeremie Huot (Canada)

Our Impact

20% of GYC alumni have founded a Human Rights related program, organization, or initiative since their delegation. Meet GYC Alumna Rebecca Davis -- an MSNBC Foot Soldier empowering street children in Rwanda through ballet and other forms of dance.

47% of GYC Alumni currently hold jobs in the field of Human Rights

97% of GYC Alumni say that the GYC program influenced their career trajectory in some way

GYC has held over 30 programs in 8 countries, training over 600 youth to strengthen over 50 human rights organizations with over 650 projects, and issued over 50 reports.

GYC’s impact manifests itself not only in the future progressive lives and activities of our youth participants from around the world, but also in the human rights efforts of the grassroots organizations where our youth volunteer their time and skills, and in the actions of policy makers who get involved through our advocacy and sharing meetings.

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world..." --Gandhi

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Apply to Participate

Fill out an Application to one of our upcoming human rights delegations.

Engage with GYC Delegates
+ Alumni, Staff, & Partners
at The Open Society's and at


Learn More about our most recent Human Rights Learning & Action Programs in Rwanda and Bosnia, and in NYC/USA


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December 2011
Alumni in Action

June 2011
Rwanda, Bosnia, & NYC

April 2011
Genocide Prevention Month

February 2011
David Kato's Death

December 2010
What's Your Definition
of Human Rights?


Alumni Newsletters

Issue 1
Issue 2

Issue 3

Issue 4

Issue 5

Issue 6

Past Programs


El Salvador (English)

El Salvador (Español)
Guatemala (English)
Guatemala (Español)

Global Youth Connect  :  (845) 657-3273 :