DORIEN BEURSKENS, Young Africa

THE PROBLEM

The lack of job opportunities and quality professional training opportunities in most African countries have led to a high rate of youth unemployment. Private sector options are financially restrictive and publicly funded vocational training is not prioritized in most parts. These factors have lead to a general negative perception of vocational education and the role of training centers despite their impact in encouraging the youth to engage in the economic development.

THE NEW IDEA

Young Africa is a social enterprises striving to connect young people to local business as a way of tackling youth unemployment. The enterprise transforms underprivileged young people into skilled workers and stimulate them to earn an income for themselves and their communities through self-employment or finding a jobs. It establishes vocational education and training centers that are both learning spaces for students and business hubs for emerging entrepreneurs.

THE IMPACT

Operates in three African countries, which its foundation in the Netherlands

26,000 youth trained in vocational skills

1000 participants per year per country

83% of the graduates are economically active of which 32% are self-employed

LESSON LEARNED

Focus on underprivileged youth. The program targets youth that are considered academically unqualified, underprivileged to attend technical training programme, or are financially unable to pay for tertiary education, or who have the passion and drive to make their enterprise financially viable, but lack adequate skills, knowledge and facilities.

Learn in action. The program brings together the youth with local businesses in which they can learn, practice entrepreneurship skills, and earn income working with those businesses.

Provide Learning Manual. The program provides a life skills manual designed to help the youth excel leadership and personal skills on their own.

Educate the educator. The program provides teacher education for excelling past-students in which they are trained how to be good educators so that they can reach out to more youngsters.

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