Foto: Pablo Tosco

Empower Youth for Work

Young people living in rural areas often lack opportunities to develop themselves. Schools and universities are often far away.

These regions are affected by climate change, which makes traditional agricultural life more difficult. There is very little and poor quality education available and hardly any jobs. 

This is why many young people are moving away from the rural to large cities. However, because these cities are growing extremely rapidly, young people cannot always find work there either.

Empower Youth for Work is a five year project which focuses on giving young people in rural areas of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Ethiopia opportunities to develop themselves.  This project will involve young people in order to tackle the main problems in their region, draw up recommendations and lobby for policy changes. We will work together with young people to help them develop professional skills and meaningful social networks.

IKEA project youth

This project will involve young people in order to tackle the main problems in their region, draw up recommendations and lobby for policy changes. We will help young people to develop professional skills and meaningful social networks. This will improve their chances of finding work. Jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs that are suitable for young people will be created. We will make sure that young people are more involved in making policy decisions. They must be given the opportunity to be innovative and to be heard. Training courses will be given to young people who are working on their family’s farm to teach them how best to deal with the effects climate change.

Within the next 5 years, we want to successfully reach and really help 184 964 young people in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Please see our stories on Empower Youth for Work! and the portraits of young people in Pakistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Facts

Project name:  Empower Youth for Work
Project period: July 2016 – 2021
Target group:  Young people between the age of 15 – 24 in rural areas
Location:  Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Ethiopia
Budget: €20,873,081

DP Logo Empower youth for work

Contact:

For more information about this project, please contact Eveline Roks, Project manager - or Evelien Davidson, Communications and Influencing. For more information, have a look at our website

Details

URGENCY

Despite their growing numbers - 1.2 billion of the world's population is now aged 15 to 24 - young people are often excluded from (decent and paid) work and decision-making. Young people in the rural areas of Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia all face similar challenges. Lack of economic opportunities, worsened by the impact of climate change and weak governance, drives them into already overcrowded and stressed urban centers. This threatens the future viability of rural areas, and food security.

Many of these problems entrench women in poverty. Social norms confine young women to lowly paid economic roles that do not provide opportunities to ‘escape’ poverty and that perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes. The unfair distribution of household work undermines women's economic and lifestyle choices. A lack of sexual and reproductive health rights further limits women’s economic opportunities and empowerment.

A lack of voice results in policy and practice that do not reflect youth's situation and does little to lift them out of poverty.

The inability to adapt to climate change holds back families from advancing out of poverty. It limits agricultural productivity and income, destroys family assets, encourages migration and the subsequent break up of families.

The lack of professional support and financial services for small businesses limits the development of SMEs which means that the number of jobs that are available for youth are limited, and it limits the opportunities for youth, with entrepreneurial ability, to use that ability to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

PROJECT

Below you will find 3 long-term outcomes with the short-term outcomes.

1. Young women and men use their agency, soft and market-led technical skills.

  • Young women and men are part of well functioning, sustainable youth groups
  • Through quality training, young women and men gain soft and technical skills demanded by employers
  • Young women and men gain entrepreneurship skills in line with market opportunities

2. Young women and men benefit from new or improved employment or entrepreneurship opportunities

  • New climate-resilient micro-enterprises established (start-ups)
  • Young entrepreneurs and existing youth-friendly enterprises obtain access to fair, affordable finance
  • Improved business and social performance within existing micro, small and medium enterprises
  • Young women and men in rural climate-affected areas are linked to employment or entrepreneurship opportunities

3. Enabling environment for young women and men’s social and economic empowerment promoted

  • Gender-based violence and discrimination reduced in public and private spaces
  • Care and domestic responsibilities are recognized, redistributed and reduced at household level
  • Sexual and reproductive health barriers inhibiting young women’s economic empowerment are addressed
  • Government adopts policies or practices directed at young women and men’s social and economic empowerment

 

IMPACT

1) Young women and men are part of well functioning, sustainable youth groups
We expand or create youth groups and networks that support leadership building, life skills, awareness of rights including labor rights and the strengthened voice of youth.

Through quality training, young women and men gain soft and technical skills demanded by employers
We work with training providers, youth and the private sector to develop new youth friendly training modules based on market demand.

Young women and men gain entrepreneurship skills in line with market opportunities
Oxfam and partners will provide entrepreneurship training. 

2) New climate-resilient micro-enterprises established (start-ups)
Young entrepeneurs will be paired with mentors in order to establish climate resilience micro enterprices.

Sexual and reproductive health barriers inhibiting young women’s economic empowerment are addressed
We support young women’s social and political leadership and collective action, -
e.g. on wages and social protection, climate change and SRH.

Government adopts policies or practices directed at young women and men’s social and economic empowerment
We support young organisations to (jointly) advocate for young people's economic or social empowerment in order to get new youth-friendly policies or guide- lines introduced by the government.

- See more at: http://www.oxfamnovib.nl/english/about-oxfam/projects-and-programs/empower-youth-for-work!#sthash.7fY1Y80L.dpuf

READ MORE

Press release on new IKEA Foundation and Oxfam Novib partnership (Dutch)

Oxfam - Even it Up! Youth Inequality report

Oxfam Policy Brief: Youth Influencing Policies in the 21st Century

Oxfam Youth Influencing Policies in the 21st Century - Literature Review, D Shephard

 

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