Youth Congress

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UNICEF New Zealand Youth Congress 'Shape Your World'

Youth Congress is now an annual event which brings young people from all over New Zealand together for a weekend workshop of learning, networking and brainstorming around enacting positive change in society.

Congress provides an opportunity for young people to learn more about children’s rights and the issues that UNICEF works on. Participants share ideas about how to make a difference and gain practical skills that are needed to take action for children. In addition, each year Congress takes on a theme that reflects issues of global and national importance for young New Zealanders.

Youth Congress was held for the first time in 2011 in Auckland to coincide with the International Year of Youth. In 2013 the second Youth Congress was held and had a focus on global poverty.

Youth Congress 2014 'Shape Your World'

'I've never felt so inspired!  I feel like I've achieved so much internally in the terms of a greater knowledge of myself and how I want to translate my passions to inspire people.' Alexandra Franklin-Doyle

Youth Congress was held in Christchurch for the first time in July 2014. The theme of 2014’s congress ‘Shape Your World’ was youth citizenship and focused around how young people can encourage positive youth participation in their communities. The congress saw 55 young people from across New Zealand come together where they took part in interactive workshops from people such as Sylvia Nissen, Bex Gibson, Alison Cleland, Jason Pemberton and Tara Ross.

Check out photos of the 2014 Youth Congress on Facebook.

If you are interested in applying for Youth Congress 2015 make sure to like our UNICEF New Zealand and UNICEF NZ Youth Ambassadors Facebook pages, which will keep you updated on all things Youth Congress.

If you have any questions, please contact Jacqui Southey, Child Rights Education Advisor and Youth Participation Programme Manager, at UNICEF NZ on freephone 0800 243 575 or via email at