About the IAYG Family    Overview

About the IAYG Family

We are an international non-governmental organization dedicated to helping young people learn about and engage in the world. 

First founded as the National Association of Young Geographers (NAYG) to advance geographic, global, and environmental education, we’ve grown and consolidated to support internationally educated and involved young people – and will keep connecting changemakers, empowering volunteers, and fighting until every child has a champion. 


For every child, the opportunity to engage in the world

About this Picture  |  Secondary school educational program organized by IAYG Geographic and Global Education, Islamic Girls HS

We believe that every young person should be able to learn about and engage in the world.

Young people need to understand the world in order to engage in it. A comprehensive geographic and global education gives them the spatial understanding, global perspective, and understanding of world issues needed to be citizens and leaders. That’s why our work for children and youth begins with advancing geographic and global education.

And we believe that young people should be able to apply these skills to serve, lead, and engage in the world. The challenges of this century need the passion, power, and potential of globally aware and engaged youth. Our mission is to be their champion.


A global family of projects and changemakers


About this Picture  |  Civic education and sport program, Gishwati Forest, Rwanda

The IAYG Family of projects and programmes engages students, teachers, academics, community members, and volunteers across the world behind the mission of empowering a generation of globally engaged youth.

The IAYG Family’s programmes in geographic education organize seminars, competitions, trainings, and educational programmes to advance geographic, global, and environmental education where it is needed most: giving young people new to geography a look into the world. And we connect, support, and champion globally minded young people through university programmes and academic partnerships. 

The IAYG Family’s youth leadership and service programmes engage youth to understand their rights, champion peace, interact in civic life, and serve others. And we help lead and scale IAYG Family-backed organizations led by young people.

Our work is principally organized by dedicated volunteers at the local level. Our impact is further extended by partnerships with local and community-based organizations. 


International impact, grassroots values

About this Picture  |  First meeting of IAYG-established Geography Society at the University of Liberia, Monrovia

The IAYG family is a decentralized organization because we believe that development starts from communities on up, not from organizations on down. We bring in ideas and projects proposed by community leaders themselves. In the past, the IAYG family has absorbed local volunteer networks to expand impact, connect changemakers, and improve communities.

We work hard to serve, reach, and represent young people – and we deeply respect the power of youth leadership. Projects and programmes in the IAYG family work to unleash youth voices. Others are led by young people themselves. And IAYG Family-backed organizations are exclusively led by youth.

Connect with your IAYG Family

Why Engagement Matters

Read why geographic education and global engagement of young people is so important in a fractured and changing world.

Get Involved

The work of programmes in the IAYG family begin with dedicated youth, teachers, community members, and volunteers worldwide. 

Reach Out

As a non-governmental organization dedicated to communities worldwide, we work hard to be accountable to you. Reach out to us if we can help.