THE INTERNATIONAL Youth Foundation, opening a headquarters and holding its annual board meeting here this week, is a welcome arrival that strengthens Baltimore as a center of nongovernment organizations providing aid to the world.
The young international charity, a six-year-old start-up by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich., promotes services for children and youth worldwide. It joins an array here including the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, a foremost improver of health; Catholic Relief Services, one of the largest non-government providers of food and emergency assistance; the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the largest maker of grants to services for children and youth in the United States, and the Weinberg Foundation with its emphasis on the poor and poor children.
Such a lineup, along with nearby Washington, should attract more non-government organizations (NGOs), which play an increasing role where governments are realistically scaling down their own. The IYF board brings chiefs of great companies and servants of governments from around the world to Baltimore this week, and has them looking at local problems and initiatives.
IYF looks at the population bulge between ages 5 and 20 and seeks to strengthen youth development programs. It is building partner foundations in each country to identify programs that work and make them larger, more effective and longer-lasting. IYF does not sell its own formula but channels funds from major corporate donors and foundations to effective programs. And with Baltimore as a laboratory, it hopes to do more in the U.S.
This is a bold enterprise, a global foundation matching resources to need. It is the brainchild of its chief executive, Rick Little, and the creation of the giant Kellogg Foundation, which remains committed to it. It brings a dozen staffers to Baltimore, and is hiring up to twice that number here. It is filling space in the commercial rental market and means to become a fixture downtown. It operates with more splash than many nonprofits, which can be a good thing. It may not have come to aid Baltimore, but its presence certainly does.
Pub Date: 7/01/96