IRD's flagship program for over 20 years, the Youth Clubs are back again. An opportunity for the 370 or so young people involved to gain a better understanding of their environment and pledge their commitment to a fairer, more sustainable world.

© Jean-Grégoire Kayoum

Discovering the world and the social impact of research, developing critical thinking, public speaking, building new knowledge, strengthening civic engagement... Every year, IRD's Youth Clubs are a training ground for more than 350 young people to experience the scientific approach and work towards a global cause.


A total of 17 Youth Clubs are involved in this new launch, from 10 countries across 4 continents. They will be supported by more than thirty researchers from all disciplines, as well as by numerous local associations and educational partners.


This year, the Youth Clubs will focus their research projects on gender inequality, sustainable food, georesource management, the impact of rodents in the city and plastic pollution in the environment. These themes reflect local concerns and tie in with the sustainable development goals.


After a general introduction to the theme, the young people in each Club will identify an issue they are facing and for which they would like to find answers, perhaps even solutions, by carrying out a field survey. Their findings and suggested actions will be shared with other young people, educational and research stakeholders, as well as representatives of local authorities, at public presentations in spring 2024, often organized in partnership with the French Institutes.

What's new in 2024

© Gérard Toffoedo

While the Clubs' methodology remains unchanged, there are a few new features in 2024.

The IRD delegations and representatives in Ecuador, Laos, Côte d'Ivoire and the Occitanie region have joined the scheme, and new partnerships have been formed with educational and research stakeholders.

The IRD representative in Côte d'Ivoire has established a partnership with the "Water, women and decision-making power” UNESCO Chair for a Club on the theme of gender equality. In Ecuador, the Youth Club is working with the REMCI (Network of Ecuadorian Women in Science). Finally, the Clubs in Morocco, Burkina Faso and Tunisia are delving into a new theme - georesources - and in particular the link between their exploitation and digital technology, a subject with far-reaching ramifications that directly concerns young people and their use of smartphones.
The Youth Clubs are also an opportunity to establish links with current research programs that are involved in the Clubs' science councils, such as the Rocket project on cricket breeding in Laos, LMI Dyn-pathos on health and the environment in Mali, or JEAI PADI on plastics in Côte d'Ivoire.
 

Meet the Youth Clubs of 2024

  • Benin
    • Two Clubs on market gardening and urban crops to boost food and nutritional security
    • One Club on gender equality

    The three Youth Clubs are being run in partnership with Cotonou schools and the NGO Oasis d'Afrique.
     

  • Burkina Faso
    • One Club on agroecological practices to combat the main rice diseases
    • Another Club on crop pest control strategies for healthy, sustainable food production
    • A third Club on the sustainable management and mapping of geological and mining resources

    The three Youth Clubs are being run in partnership with Ouagadougou schools.
     

  • Cameroon
    • One Club on safou domestication, conservation and processing
    • Another Club on farming the black “chitoumou” caterpillar in southern Cameroon

    Both Youth Clubs are being run in partnership with two Yaoundé high schools, the NGO Center for Environment and Education and the CIAH association

  • Côte d'Ivoire
    • One Club on combating plastic pollution with the 'Les Oliviers' school group in Abidjan
    • Another Club on gender equality: Women and Water with Lycée Jean-Mermoz and Institut Sacré-Cœur d'Adjamé in Abidjan

    Both Youth Clubs are being run in partnership with theNGO 350 and the NGO "Stop au chat noir".

  • Ecuador

    One Club on gender equality, run in partnership with the Franco-Ecuadorian high school in Quito.

  • Laos

    One Club on the breeding and consumption of insects as a source of protein and economic empowerment for women with the French high school in Vientiane.

  • Mali
    • One Club on the effects of changes in eating habits with Les Castors high school in Bamako.
  • France

    One Club on agriculture and climate change with the Geneviève Anthonioz-De Gaulle high school in Milhaud, Occitanie region.

  • Senegal
    • One Club on trialling an educational garden with the Pikine high school in Dakar
    • One Club on the impact of rodents in the city with the Charles de Gaulle high school in Saint-Louis

    Both Youth Clubs are being run in partnership with the RC2S association.
     

     

  • Tunisia

    One Youth Club on the use of groundwater in the El Kef region, in partnership with the Ibnou Nefis secondary school in El Ksour-El Kef and the ADO+ association.