New Year, New Update!
Firstly, the Empower Youth for Work programme team wishes you a Happy New Year! The Oxford Dictionary defined 2017 with one word: Youthquake. Noun. A significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people. That 2018 may be our best year yet!
In this update we look back at the key successes the EYW team booked in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Pakistan during the last quarter of 2017. Just to name a few; we closed the year with the first annual Global Learning Event, commitments were made for a National Youth Advisory board in Bangladesh, the "Our Coastal, Our Dignity" campaign was launched in Indonesia, different Memorandums of understanding were signed in Pakistan, and the "Africa Talks Jobs" event was held at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia with many young, vibrant and forward-thinking youth from across Africa. Some challenges the four countries are facing are addressed at the end.
Kick Off Global Learning Event
"Before coming here, it felt like we had separate country projects. Now it feels like one team. We have a diverse group, with different, experienced, and young people. This is a great combination for the project."
In November, the Empower Youth for Work team came together in Thailand for the first annual Global Learning Event. 37 participants including country teams, partner organisations and technical advisers attended the five-day occasion. The aim of the event was to provide an opportunity to identify paths for better, more collaborative and impact programming. Read more!
As you can view in the video above, the Emotive Learning exchange has sparked new inspiration. New insights are being adopted to ensure community ownership and to (further) solve local challenges differently. New ways of looking at issues of sustainability, developing market linkages, networks and safe mobility are being adopted. Together with technical experts and government representatives, an entrepreneurship module was developed for a rural hub using the Human Centred Design approach. Take a look at the newly developed Result Based Management System built to ensure better monitoring, evaluation and learning.
In four project areas, youth and project staff alike are being trained as trainers and are facilitating in the field. Through a mentor program, youth have started income generating activities and some have already obtained a paid job. Also playing a leading role in different social activities, youth are planting trees, repairing dams and educating marginalised children. Through theatre and traditional song, awareness is being raised and social norms being changed. Messages about these developments are continuously being shared using local platforms. Youth reporters in different areas have been identified and trained, ready to start gathering stories. One story to be told: the District Youth Advisory board and representatives from in outside of Oxfam led projects have committed to form the National Level Youth Advisory Board.
Wear your Climate Change glasses!
Inspired during the Global Learning Event, Toma Saha wrote a blog exploring the role of Climate Change and her work as Youth officer in the Bangladesh team. "It became clear how essential it is to identify, create and support companies that offer ‘green jobs’ and establish safe, climate friendly products and technologies".
Read more about these key successes: Broadcasting for Awareness, Africa Talks Jobs, From Training to Funding and The Engine for Youth Start Ups.
Collaborating with Fana Broadcasting Corporate and other implementing partners, weekly radio programs have been coordinated. The broadcasts create awareness on a wide range of issues such as gender based violence, unpaid care work and sexual and reproductive health. Furthermore, materials were designed and translated together with the Network of Ethiopian Women’s Association. These were created to educate on Gender based Violence during the 16 Days of Activism campaign and White Ribbon Day.
During the African Youth Day in November the Empower Youth for Work programme was showcased at the African Union headquarters where access to information on job opportunities was explored. The "Africa Talks Jobs: Equipping the youth with Adaptive Education and Skills for Employment" was shared with many young, vibrant and forward-thinking youth from across Africa.
Comprehensive baseline assessments have been conducted on Gender based violence, Sexual Reproductive Health and Unpaid Care Work. Training, teaching and learning materials have been developed to further this process. In partnership with the Oromia Saving and Credit Share Company, a loan has been provided for youth groups under the guarantee fund scheme.
The Human Centered Design consultant is working on a Business Development Service prototyping and the digitisation of training materials. Partner, Abdurehman Eid, shares his views on the Business development services for youth start-ups in rural areas. One of the topics explored during the Global Learning Event. “We realised our initial assumption that we would find jobs nearby after skills training, has been refuted. As such, we need to support enterprises that have potential to create jobs.”
Read more about these key successes: the Inter Village Youth Hubs, Memorandums of Understanding, Gender training and "Our Coast, Our Dignity."
"I hope with the attendance of Oxfam here, we can add more value to these young people. This is just starting point, I hope in the future we can build more Youth Halls which can be used”. Ms. Nurhayati is one of the local authorities who has committed several locations to be established as youth hubs. Currently the Inter Village Youth Hub respectively covers 5 small villlages. It was established by actively engaging young women and men during the planning, set-up and inauguration.
“We are very glad that there is a project which supports the improvement of our village. Moreover, there are many youth who have gone through higher education but are still not being employed”, said the village chief. Four Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with local governments to create youth hubs in three different areas. The village chief of Lowu Lowu has agreed to support the development of activities of young people in their area.
Parents and local communities have better knowledge on the importance of sharing equal responsibilities for women and men in households. This is the initial step to make parents and local communities aware. These principles will have to be implemented in their households so that the young women will be allowed to participate in economic activities outside the home. Skills training are being created and tried out at a school with youth involved in the process. Links and matches have been negotiated with different stakeholders in medium enterprises and the private sector.
Young people across Indonesia networked and talked on how to tackle the impact of climate change during the Climate Change Exhibition held in collaboration with other Oxfam programme across the country. More than five hundred youth attended this series of events. “Our Coastal, Our Dignity” aims to increase awareness on the role youth have in tackling the impact of climate change. By taking action and working together with youth networks across Indonesia, the campaign hopes to take this to the next level. Halida Nufaisa, Youth Engagement Officer reflects on Role Models and change for Youth.
Read more about these key successes: Youth Groups, The "Clean & Green" Pledge, Memorandums of Understanding and the Learning Exchange with Nepal.
Established Youth groups have been trained in different corporate skills like CV writing and interview preparation. Other sessions enhance confidence, problem solving and leadership skills or train drama techniques including the use of body language and how to bring a message across. Interactive theatre is an effective tool for awareness raising in communities addressing issues of unequal gender roles, women mobility and economic exploitation. Knowledge and experience of the Gender Action Learning System has increased, ready to be applied in villages to further identify critical gender issues and inequalities within households.
Oxfam partner Bargad held a Youth peace conference where a thorough review and analysis of youth policies was made by Youth leaders, resulting in a charter of demand handover to Youth Affairs Minister. The session “Youth Action for Climate Change Mitigation” created awareness on the pressing issue of climate change. The depletion of natural resources and its correlation with conflicts offered insights into the need for environment protection. Youth pledged to plant 8000 trees over a period of 4 years time during the launch of the “Clean & Green Pakistan” campaign.
Efforts to strengthen collaboration with government institutions and universities are leading to the signing of different memorandums of understanding. The government helps build the necessary support system and provides resources to facilitate youth in acquiring skills, competence, space for voice, visibility and enterprise development. The university is to extend technical expertise by reviewing and tailoring the available agriculture modules and executing capacity building programs. Furthermore, an agreement has been made to obtain services of agriculture-extension experts, training young farmers around off-season cropping and seed banking.
Existing Small Medium Enterprises, Micro Finance Initiatives and private sector companies have been mapped out for further project implementation. The study will help advocacy initiatives for employment creation and financial assistance of young entrepreneurs. Using Human Centred Design, service packages for Rural Hubs, a Startup Competition and Support in Employment, Agriculture and Entrepreneurship have been finalised. Workshops involving different stakeholders have been held, field research conducted, and prototype tested with beneficiaries.
The E-motive exchange visit to Nepal offered inspiration, new insights and knowledge to implement learning and similar initiatives in Pakistan. A return visit is scheduled for the beginning of 2018, when representatives of the Nepali initiatives will come to visit. One of the exchange participants, Project Officer Shahzad Shakeel, shares his experiences in a blog.