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Seminar at IDB´s Annual Meeting in Peru will promote the ethics of solidarity

The Inter-American Development Bank is promoting a broad alliance of governments, businesses, and civil society to support youth entrepreneurship and volunteerism as an element in the battle against the high levels of poverty and inequality that plague Latin America and the Caribbean.

The "Inter-American Initiative on Social Capital, Ethics, and Development" and the Youth Development and Outreach Program known as "IDB Youth" -two initiatives of high priority for IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias- will organize the seminar "Latin American and Caribbean Social Capital in Action: Young Entrepreneurs and Volunteerism" March 25 and 26 for the 2004 IDB Annual Meeting in Lima, Peru.

Young leaders and experts in volunteer work will participate in the seminar, together with organizations working to develop social and business entrepreneurs, government officials, and representatives of religious communities and universities.

Some examples of recent IDB initiatives are:

Youth Entrepreneurship

A Study on Youth Entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean
IDB Youth is financing a study on the situation of the young entrepreneurial sector in the region. The goal is to learn about initiatives in the public, private, and nongovernmental sectors that are supporting the growth of youth entrepreneurship through mentoring, financing, training, and policy programs and by assisting with legal procedures required to establish businesses. Five experts from the region are identifying successful and innovative practices.

A Directory of Organizations that Support Young Entrepreneurs
In collaboration with the Fund for Young Entrepreneurs of the Americas of the Organization of American States, IDB Youth is financing the compilation of a directory of organizations, government agencies, and public and private institutions that support and promote youth entrepreneurship. It will be available to young entrepreneurs in print and on the Internet.

Selection of Young Entrepreneurs
In order to ensure the participation of enterprising young leaders from the entire region, IDB Youth organized an Electronic Showcase on Youth Entrepreneurship, through which young people from Latin America and the Caribbean presented their current projects to a panel of experts for evaluation. The best were selected, and the winners were invited to participate at the Annual Meeting in Peru. The Electronic Showcase was conducted through the IDB Youth Website and has been put on a CD-ROM for distribution in Peru.

Projects on Youth Volunteerism

Comparative Study on the Legal Status of Volunteer Action in Ibero-America
IDB Youth promoted and financed a comparative study by the Ibero-American Youth Organization on the legal status of volunteer action in Ibero-America.

Global Service Institute
IDB Youth has established a partnership with the Global Service Institute (GSI), an initiative of the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in association with Innovations in Civic Participation in Washington D.C.

Through IDB Youth, the Bank is collaborating on the translation of the GSI's Internet webpage into Spanish, is producing newsletters and is coordinating information resources in Latin America and the Caribbean. A draft report on the status of youth volunteerism in the region will be presented in Peru for purposes of feedback and further development. An edition of the publication Service Enquiry for Latin America and the Caribbean will provide information on programs and policies related to volunteerism.

Youth Volunteer Service in the Americas
The goal of the Pilot Program to Improve Youth Volunteer Service in the Americas is to provide competencies and opportunities to young people between the ages of 12 and 24, by enabling them to participate in volunteer service, service-learning programs, and youth leadership activities.

This pilot program will develop individual capacities through training and technical assistance, expand opportunities for youth service and stimulate public recognition and incentives for youth service programs. The program will be implemented in Argentina, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic.

Global Youth Service Day
Every April, IDB Youth helps to mobilize thousands of young people throughout the region to mark Global Youth Service Day and to celebrate the contributions made by young people to improve their communities throughout the year.

First Directory of Volunteerism in Latin America and the Caribbean
The Initiative on Ethics and IDB Youth are collaborating on the production of a regional directory on volunteerism to identify the organizations and agencies of all types that are promoting the participation of citizens in the socioeconomic development of the region through volunteer service. Listing in the directory is free and open until April 5, 2004 at the Internet Website of the IDB's Initiative on Ethics.

University Network for Ethics and Social Development
One of the newest projects of the IDB's Initiative on Ethics is the establishment of a university network on ethics and social development. The goal is to promote the exchange of ideas and the discussion among institutions of higher education on relevant and replicable experiences relating to social capital, ethics and development issues. The network hopes to become a catalyst for efforts to incorporate concepts of social capital and ethics in education programs of Latin American universities, which are central to the development of future leaders.

More information:
IDB Youth, Special Programs Section, Office of External Relations or contact Elena Suárez at, Fabian Koss at, Marta Estarellas at, or Isabel Alvarez at

Inter-American Initiative on Social Capital, Ethics and Development, or contact Bernardo Kliksberg, initiative coordinator, or Gabriel Mops at For more information on the University Network for Ethics and Social Development contact Alan Wagenberg at

The GSI Information Network provides research reports and information about civic service around the world.


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