Community Advocacy and Mobilization

In 2017, the Youth Development Institute formalized a project of Advocacy and Community Mobilization in order to involve people who are directly affected by the processes of development of public policy and advocacy on the issues we work on. The main objectives of this project are:

  1. Provide a platform for young people, mothers and fathers to define the problems that affect them and provide solutions and public policy recommendations not only based on research and data, but anchored in their realities and needs.
  2. Empower youth, mothers and fathers to lead advocacy processes related to public investment, budget process and appropriations, and public policies for economic security.

Currently, the project has directly impacted three communities in: Aguas Buenas; the Luis Llorens Torres public housing project; and Las Margaritas another public housing project, in the Santurce sector of San Juan.  Through our association with the Boys and Girls Club of Puerto Rico, we carry out outreach activities in these communities, with the potential to reach and impact other communities.

As part of this work, we seek to ensure that the voices of mothers and young people are integrated throughout our work through collaboration between the mobilization manager and the public policy, research and data analysis department from our institution. 

The work that is being done, promotes that young people are prepared to handle data and information that is generally handled by organizations and the government. For example, the data walks methodology is carried out regularly in both the youth and parent groups to understand what the numbers say and discuss what the problems they face look like and provide solutions.

Some advocacy projects they are working within groups are: (1) mothers have chosen to work on the minimum wage issue and work benefits; (2) youth are working on strategies to increase youth employment and access to economic opportunities.

Some achievements of these groups include: creating a podcast by the youth group on budget cuts and how these cuts have affected their lives, the publication of a public letter demanding better working conditions for parents across the Island.

We’ve also launched a Youth Advisory Council with the goal of strengthening the integration of youth voices and experiences while promoting changes in public policy led by the Youth Development Institute

Advocacy Academy

We want Puerto Rican families to have the power to influence decisions, projects, and public policies that affect their lives, therefore we created and Advocacy Academy.

Our Advocacy Academy is an organizing movement for mothers, fathers, caregivers, and youth. We support participants from all over Puerto Rico to imagine and build a more just and equitable world for themselves and their families.

Currently 382,987 children between 0 and 17 years old live below the poverty level. Not having a voice in public conversations that directly affect them on issues such as housing, violence, education, economic security, among others, has a serious impact on the development of effective public policy and on the collective aspirations of our country.

This academy aims to:

• Promote spaces for community mobilization;

• Develop advocacy skills in mothers and young spokespersons; and

• Engage potential spokespersons and organizers to lead advocacy efforts in defense of the causes they decide to support.

Advocacy Academy held on December 7th, 2019