Young people have varied motivations at different stages of their lives. These are ever changing and dynamic depending on their socio-economic conditions, geography, age, and peers.

When Reap Benefit was started in 2013, our hypothesis was that young people are aware of their community problems, but they might not be able to perceive how to translate their knowledge into solutions. How can they take consistent action in their community to make short-term and long-term impact? Keeping this in mind, we started cultivating Solve Ninja Communities with the aim of encouraging young people in the age group of 12–18 years to solve hyperlocal climate and civic issues. These communities had to be capable of self-organising while being resilient and sustainable so that young people could assume the responsibility of identifying problems and solutions.

While running these communities, we learned through trial and error that keeping young people engaged and motivated means keeping up with their changing needs. Here’s how nonprofits can be cognizant of these needs and meaningfully engage with the youth.

  1. Create space to support young people
  2. Work with young people by balancing control
  3. Consider where young people are coming from
  4. Understand that rewards and recognition go a long way
  5. Realise that too much push can turn into fatigue

Read the full article about supporting young people by Kuldeep Dantewadia and Navneet Kaur at India Development Review.