The Hunger Project is joining global celebrations to mark World Youth Skills Day on July 15, which this year focuses on the theme “Skills for the Future of Work.”
World Youth Skills Day was established in 2014 by a UN General Assembly resolution that expressed concern at the high number of unemployed youth, recognizing that promoting the acquisition of skills by young people can empower them to gain access to changing job markets.
In today’s job markets, higher-level education and relevant training are key factors in determining the success and prosperity of young people worldwide. However, the educational needs of today’s youth are not being met by existing institutions. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 71 million young people are unemployed. It also estimates that an additional 156 million youths are employed yet live in poverty. And according to the United Nations, 103 million young people are illiterate. Sixty percent of them are women.
Youth unemployment is largely attributable to a disconnect between the skills young people have and the skills employers are actually looking for. That is why investing in the improved education and vocational training of youth is essential if we want to ensure that today’s young people can be the drivers of their own development.
This is even more important in an increasingly digital world, where employers are increasingly expecting young people to possess a large and varied set of technical and entrepreneurial skills. Therefore, in order to ensure the success of Sustainable Development Goal 4 on quality education for all, a key indicator will be the number of young people with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills.
What we do:
At The Hunger Project, we recognize youth as key agents of change in our work to end world hunger and poverty. That is why we tailor our programs to empower and spur innovation among young people across our program countries.
In Benin, The Hunger Project has led numerous ICT awareness and training sessions, providing 348 youth partners with basic computer and Internet knowledge. These activities empower young people with the know-how and confidence to navigate the Internet for information – skills that are instrumental to their personal development.
In addition, The Hunger Project promotes basic education and literacy for younger generations by facilitating the registration of girls and boys at preschools in our epicenters across Africa.
In Bangladesh, we support greater involvement of young people in a wide range of civic activities. Our Youth Ending Hunger program trains young people and students on various social issues, mobilizing their communities for social change. In 2016 alone, the program has trained 8,196 Youth Ending Hunger Leaders. The activities are part of the Active Citizens program, which THP-Bangladesh carries out in partnership with the British Council. In September 2016, the inaugural session of the Active Citizens Youth Leadership Training – a four-day event to build leadership skills among Bangladeshi youth – saw the participation of a total of 32 students including 15 girls. The young participants at the training engaged in constructive conversations on development and intercultural dialogue.
In Ethiopia, The Hunger Project organizes agricultural entrepreneurship training sessions for unemployed youth. In 2015 (the first year of the program), 120 young women and men were empowered with new knowledge and ideas about entrepreneurship, knowledge they then used to become business-minded agents of their own development.
Through our Microfinance Program in Africa, youth and adults alike are able to enhance their entrepreneurial skills of youth and adults. In 2016 alone, The Hunger Project trained over 24,400 people in microfinance, mobilizing women all over the country to grow their businesses in trade and agriculture. Led by local women, the program offers an empowering environment for the community’s women to engage, learn and develop the skills needed to reach economic self-reliance.
What you can do:
Invest now in The Hunger Project as we continue to train, engage and empower youth as agents for ending hunger and achieving self-reliance.
Join the global conversation on social media with #SkillsDay #WYSD2017