The Hands Together for Youths (HaTY) was conceived in 2009 as a Community Based Initiative group – The Mutengene Youths of Change (MYC), to advocate for children's rights and juvenile delinquency with focus on Mutengene (a town in the South West, Cameroon) by a small team of social workers. Following a preliminary research conducted in this area in early 2010, it was realized that there is a growing increase in the number of youths engaged in risky behaviors including; community violence, armed robbery, drug abuse, gambling, prostitution, a surge in youth and currency counterfeiting, child labor, scamming amongst others and a threat to social harmony. With increasing economic hardship and the absence of entrepreneurial skills amongst these youths, the future of a cross section of Cameroonian youths remains bleak. With easy access to the streets coupled with the absence of recreational facilities, the continuous neglect of these youths in leadership and policy issues, the number of youths on the streets remains on an increase.
An analysis of a rapid appraisal and preliminary survey showed that majority of these youths possess inherent values and potentials that if identified and developed, will contribute to self employment and reliance as well as socio-economic development. Based on these findings and conclusions from field studies, the members of MYC decided to move forward to form a broad base group that could handle the challenges identified. In 2011, a constituent general meeting for the creation of the Hands Together Youths was held. The pioneer executive committee was elected into place. This group is continuously conceiving and executing projects and looking forward in partnering with national and international organizations working in areas of research, education, capacity building and counseling with focus on advancing youths initiatives.
Hands Together for Youths (HaTY) is a Cameroonian-based non-profit making which has as mission to empower youths with focus on at-risk youths to become self-sufficient and responsible citizens through counseling, education, capacity building, and recreation.
HaTY's culture of responsibility is, building an inter-generational chain of responsible youths working towards creating positive personal development while influencing the socio-economic development of their immediate communities.