Introducing India to Youth Cafes!

Updated: May 17, 2020


We have been working on theoretical and conceptual base for the youth café model in India for over 5 years now. We define youth café as a service that could offer support for young people in a non-stigmatising way; be based on well-established youth work principles; provide a forum for young people to develop their social networks; play an important role in offering a secure base for young people; and enable them to bolster their resilience and connect them to their communities.

Six core theories that could be conceptualised as underpinning the youth cafe model are mentioned below:-

Social Support:

Social support is defined as ‘a range of interpersonal exchanges that include not only the provision of physical assistance, emotional caring, and information, but also the subjective consequence of making individuals feel that they are the object of enduring concerns by others’. Research on social support shows that recipients have better mental health, fewer physical health problems and lower rates of mortality, while increased social support positively affects people’s ability to cope with stressful events that happen in life, both directly and indirectly.

Attachment Theory:

An attachment can be conceptualised as a type of social bond or affective tie that develops between an individual and another person during the life course. Since the 1980s, researchers have placed greater emphasis on the significance of maintaining stable social attachments during adolescence And how relationships with stable adults can positively impact on youth development. It can be argued that youth cafés have the potential to play an important role in offering a secure base from which young people can grow and develop through the development of secure Attachments with their peers and adults alike.

Civic Engagement and Participation Theory:

The civic engagement and participation of young people has been a focus of policy and academic attention over recent decades. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child emphasises the Participation rights of children and subsequent policy and legislation especially in ageing countries.

The youth café model is based on the principle of youth participation and ownership, emphasising the importance of young people playing an active role in the management and operations of the café. Thus, the youth café model has the potential to contribute to the democratic inclusion of young people, facilitate personal and skills development, and enable young people to contribute to and shape the lives of their communities

Resilience Theory: