The URI-GL Youth program is increasingly focused on strategies to cultivate and train a new generation of compassionate and effective leaders who value and use the diversity of their faiths, cultural and indigenous traditions to address urgent issues within the great lakes region and world over. It has thus initiated programs encompassing youth leadership and mentorship, non violence, interfaith appreciation, volunteership and ambassadorship.
The youth program in the Great Lakes works closely with the Global Young Leaders Program (YLP) run by the URI Global Office in San Francisco California USA and in cooperation with Regional Teams and Young Leaders around the world. The program develops skills for interfaith leadership and provides space for young people to interact with one one another and share their experiences and learn about other religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions across the globe. These experiences vary from interfaith encounters for beginners to skills training and youth leadership groups. The program is designed to meet the needs of the young people irrespective of their experiences and has evolved into a global network of over 600 youth in 65 countries who communicate regularly through social media, email and online chats focusing on various interfaith and social justice topics.