Genc UPSHIFT Programme to empower a generation of change makers

17 February 2022

ANKARA, February 17, 2022 - The Genc UPSHIFT Programme has been launched today in Ankara by Dr. Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu, Minister of Youth and Sports, Regina De Dominicis, UNICEF Representative to Turkey and young people themselves. The Genc UPSHIFT is a programme whereby young people develop models with their teams on social issues that matters for them, and implement their ideas following a training program held with experts. Models found successful will be financed by a partnership between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and UNICEF to be materialized. The programme will be carried out in 162 Youth Centers in 81 provinces across Turkey, and 40 projects/models chosen within the scope of the programme will be eligible for support.

Minister Kasapoğlu emphasized the importance of youth involvement during his opening speech, and said, "Young people know best the matters that concern themselves, it is our biggest wish for young people to contribute to the policy development and be part of finding solutions. Nevertheless, our primary goal is to equip young people with the necessary skills they need  to develop innovative policies and solutions in economic, social and cultural areas, that have added value, create social unity and build welfare. This programme will enable young people to find solutions for matters of concern to them, and will also improve them in social innovation and social entrepreneurship. We will support young people by ensuring that they present their project ideas to the jury, which they will materialize at the end of this programme. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that young people become a power to drive positive social and economic change, that they contribute to competitive workforce, sustainable economic growth, improved management, and to active NGOs".

UNICEF Representative to Turkey Regina de Dominicis in her opening speech at the Genc UPSHIFT Program said “Today to face the challenges and seize the opportunities of this fast changing world, young people need more programmes like Genc Upshift, which helps to develop entrepreneurial skills through experimental learning. This year in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sport we plan to reach 60.000 young people in Turkey with this adaptable programme anchored in human-centered design, combining innovation workshops, mentorship and seed funding to equip adolescents and young people with the skills they need to identify problems in their communities and build solutions to address them”.


UPSHIFT is a youth social innovation and social entrepreneurship programme, designed to build skills and opportunities for all young people. This programme is a unique global initiative- initiataed by UNICEF with over 40 countries now utilizing the approach including Kosovo, Bulgaria, India, Jordan, Brazil and now Turkey.

Media contacts

Sema Hosta
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Türkiye
Tel: + 90 312 454 10 10


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