Just like individuals and families, international communities have unique sets of needs influenced by culture, custom and challenging socio-economic climates. Guided by its unwavering commitment to cultural competency and humility, YAP works closely and in various capacities with international partners across five continents to address their endemic needs, goals and objectives in partnership with families, young people and community decision makers.

From Ireland to Sierra Leone, the YAP team provides expertise in support of the introduction and strengthening of community based services, bridging critical service gaps in highly challenged environments, and promoting civic engagement to spur social change.

The demand for needs-led, strength-based community-based supports for youth and their families exists across the globe as the economic strain and fraying of the social fabric of communities resulting from a reliance on institutionalization are experienced. The YAP Wraparound Advocate Model, with its multiple dimensions and strong commitment to co-production with youth and families, has proven an effective and adaptable response to this far reaching need within widely diverse international communities.


International Footprint

Youth Advocate Programmes (YAP) Ireland was the first community-based organization in Ireland to bring youth out of residential placement and back into their home communities.
Siembra Bien
Mile 91, Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone Youth Advocate Program
Botkyrka, Sweden

Contact Us

Diana Matteson
International Development Director

YAP supports the most marginalized youth and families in Sierra Leone and Guatemala through individual donations, fundraisers and weekly contributions from employee payroll deductions. Agency-wide, from individual staff weekly payroll contributions to the Board of Directors, YAP is dedicated to building healthier families and stronger communities. You can be a part of this show of solidarity and support by making an ongoing donation or a one-time gift.


A $50 donation means a young person in Sierra Leone goes to school-yes, a simple $50 pays for the school fees, uniform and supplies for a child for the year. A $100 gift supports the training of a “social mediator” in Guatemala, youth leaders who mobilized during a pandemic to ferry homework from student to teacher, share public health information and show an example of what civic responsibility and local leadership looks like. Make it $250 and you have supported an entire group of social mediators’ training for a week. Or an ongoing donation... there is so much we can do together!

The “This Is My 2020” online gallery that YAP coordinated for International Youth Day includes an image from Maribel in Guatemala City called “La Sonrisa Que Cambio Todo”/The Smile that Changed Everything." We know that everyone wants to put the world back together again & is struggling to figure out how. Your gift is an essential first step to mending it. Your gift can bring The Smile that Changed Everything. Thank you.

All of the young people the YAP community works with around the world are facing burdens unique to their community- lack of access to education, community violence, underemployment, hunger, mental health issues, separation from family, racial inequities. Yet, they show resilience and hope and your support of those enduring strengths and possibility of a brighter, safer, healthier future mean we can put a world back together again…together… thank you.

Thank you from Cierra



For over 25 years, YAP has advocated for “street kids,” the most marginalized kids in Guatemala. Your donation not only supports the work with youth living on the street but prevents more kids being in this situation. Our sister agency "Siembra Bien" (Sowing Well) is making Guatemala City safer, keeping kids with their families, and training youth to be community leaders.

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Sierra Leone

After a decade long civil war, Sanusi Kargbo, a native of Sierra Leone and NJ YAP Advocate, returned home and took the YAP principles to youth and former child soldiers living in refugee camps. In Freetown and the village of Mile 91, Sierra Leone YAP (SLYAP) Advocates assist youth and families with education, employment and training. Mile 91 services are anchored at the Thomas L. Jeffers Youth Centre.

  • $28.00 - can provide access to sustainable, hygienic menstrual products
  • $56.00 - can provide access to sustainable, hygienic menstrual products and support periods with dignity
  • $84.00 - can provide access to sustainable, hygienic menstrual products and support education initiatives aimed at ending period poverty in Sierra Leone

Global Youth Voices

We are committed to the idea that all our work should be youth-informed, co-produced with youth and and youth-led where appropriate, ongoing initiatives that amplify youth voice and guide our daily labors and strategic direction include the following:

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