Youth Employment & Social Empowerment
“Poverty reduction is not only about meeting our basic needs, it is also about participation, influence and power”
Hanna Hallin, President National Council of Swedish Youth (LSU).
Over 500 million young people live in poverty across the world. In Sierra Leone over half of all young people are defined as working poor (UNFPA, 2012). This needs to be addressed, given that young people are key to future economic expansion. In developing countries, young people are significantly limited in economic opportunities, they lack employable skills and often excluded from mainstream social mobility. Very often, young people are excluded from designing and implementing policies that have direct impact on their development. This problem of exclusion becomes even more complex when young people lack educational accomplishment and lack confidence in state institutions.
We believe that young people require support ensuring their skills are strengthening in the process, enabling them to put forward practical philosophies and needs to reduce poverty in their communities. We will ensure that young people become catalysts to economic growth, poverty reduction, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. Our aim is to allow young people become key players in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty in their households. This approach is vital given that 1 in every 5 citizens of Sierra Leone is a young person [GoSL, 2013]. We will make sure young people have transferable skills and knowledge, enabling them to design and manage social enterprises. This method will be self-financing and sustainable due to our innovative social enterprise methodology, which provides functional alternatives needed for individual and collective welfare.
Our mission is to empower young people across communities ensuring they have skills and knowledge to be employable, understand and accept their social and environmental responsibilities.
We aim to achieve this by:
- Addressing the needs of young people living in poverty
- Increasing the opportunities for apprenticeships with focus on the informal economic sector
- Setting up, promoting and supporting youth entrepreneurial projects
- Making rural areas more attractive to young people
- Lobbying the state to expand youth job programmes
- Providing young people the skills, education and information needed to compete for better high paid jobs.