Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
Lesotho has the third highest HIV prevalence in the world at 23.2%. HIV and AIDS is the single most immediate contributor to the dramatic increase in orphan hood and vulnerability, and currently there are over 100,000 orphans in Lesotho which equates to 39% of the country’s child population.
Vulnerability is sustained as the children grow older, with 30% of them being out of school. Without this protective environment, they are placed at higher risk of resorting for survival to various forms of risky behaviors and hazardous labor, including commercial sex, domestic work, trafficking and herding.
The care and protection of this overwhelming number of children deprived of their parent/s and without the nurturing and protective environment of their primary caregivers is a national challenge. They also have no guidance or assistance in direction for life route planning.
To further add to the problems, Lesotho has a 45% unemployment rate so the need for professional skills development and for the economy to be developed is very acute.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
Fit4Work is very unique in its utilization of football to empower high school leavers, in particular orphans and vulnerable youth and children living on the street, with the necessary skills for life route planning.
The fun and interactive activities enable the youth to work as a team to solve problems and improve their communication skills and overall confidence. Youth learn best when participating and being constantly active which is what the Fit4Work Program permits the youth to do.
The week-long residential program combines a mixture of fun problem solving activities, interactive discussions, team work, presentations, motivational speakers, role plays, mock interviews and computer sessions.
The participants leave with a numerous range of skills and knowledge including: career planning, applying for higher education and scholarships, CV writing skills, job hunting, budgeting, interviewing techniques, communications and presentations skills, and basic IT skills.
By the end of the program the youth learn how to approach people, how to plan for their future, how to work in a team and appreciate other people’s opinions, how to approach an interview as well as some guidelines on how to be good at work. As one participant put it, “Fit4Work taught me that we don’t just go straight to our goals but sometimes, and for valid reasons, we have to struggle first before we reach out goals.”