Why a kit for adolescents?

Adolescents (girls and boys ages 10-18) are a key age group affected by conflict, disasters, humanitarian situations and vulnerable development contexts. They have a valuable role to play during crises and can contribute great energy, creativity and enthusiasm to improving both their own lives and their communities.

But adolescents’ rights are often violated during times of crisis, and they are prevented from developing to their full potential. Meanwhile, the majority of interventions for children in humanitarian situations focus on girls and boys under the age of 10, while very few target adolescents specifically. And the support that is available often fails to reach the adolescent girls and boys who need it the most.

South SudanAdolescents are often left to fend for themselves in extremely challenging circumstances and have to navigate the transition from childhood to adulthood without support or protection. Their rights as children are neglected – and they often remain invisible and alone in humanitarian situations.

This is why we created the Adolescent Kit. Developed together with experts and adolescents around the world, the Kit provides humanitarian and development organisations with a practical package of guidance, tools, activities and supplies for supporting adolescent girls and boys.

The Kit aims to nurture the resilience that adolescents often demonstrate in challenging situations. It supports activities that build on adolescents’ strengths, and provide them with opportunities to learn new skills, develop positive relationships, build their self-esteem and coping skills, and give back to their communities.

Read more about the motivation behind the Kit in the Foundation Guide

Who developed the Kit?

The Kit’s development was led by UNICEF’s Adolescent Development and Participation Section, a cross-sectoral support team based at UNICEF Headquarters, in collaboration with programme leaders, partner organizations and adolescents in Indonesia, South Sudan, Myanmar, Bhutan and Palestine. Colleagues and young people in Haiti, Uganda and Jordan also contributed to research and development for the Kit.

Adolescents in humanitarian situations

The guidance and approaches in the Adolescent Kit revolve around a number of key understandings about adolescents in humanitarian situations. While their experiences are extremely diverse, adolescents may share certain challenges and opportunities during times of crisis...

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10 key competencies for adolescents

All of the activities and approaches in the Adolescent Kit are designed to help adolescents to develop key competencies – knowledge, skills and attitudes that are essential for their well-being and healthy development. They include the abilities that adolescent girls and boys need to...

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Adolescents, expression and innovation

The Adolescent Kit supports activities that allow adolescents to experiment, express themselves and tap into talents they may not be aware that they have. It gives them time to reflect, to create and to have fun while they solve problems and explore new ideas....

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Building on good practice

The Adolescent Kit builds on global standards, principles and good practices for working with adolescents across sectors. These principles provide the technical foundation for the Kit and underpin all of the activities, tools and guidance included in it...

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10 key approaches for working with adolescents

At the heart of all the guidance, tools and activities in the Adolescent Kit are 10 key approaches: Reach out to all adolescents, Provide structure and support, Listen to adolescents, Let adolescents take the lead, Include all adolescents, etc...

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