YOUTH UNSTUCK Social Innovations Transforming Livelihoods and Leadership in Africa S O C I A L
A collaboration between:
I N N O V A T I O N
G U I D E
Youth Arts Collaborative, Pawa254, Kenya
FOREWORD The MasterCard Foundation and Ashoka have partnered to launch Future Forward, an initiative that identifies and supports social entrepreneurs and changemakers with innovative solutions for youth employment in sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative also convenes a wider community of practitioners, thought leaders, and young Africans with effective approaches and a vision for redefining livelihoods and leadership in the 21st century. This report focuses on the approaches of leading social innovators and entrepreneurs who are leading the way to create systemic change in the field of youth livelihoods, as well as individuals who are leading in existing institutions who are also tackling complex challenges and changing patterns across society. Based on case studies and interviews of social innovators across 17 countries, this report identifies those cross-cutting patterns within their approaches that have the potential to unlock society-wide transformation. By featuring their perspectives, this guide is an invitation: to re-envision the possibilities for change through the eyes of social innovators.
We want to hear from you. Learn more about Ashoka Africaâ€™s work on youth at changemakers.com/FutureForward or contact us at email@example.com to: hare your expertise and help us evolve opportunities for collaboration on the best S ways to unlock widespread change for young people. Nominate social innovators to join the network. xplore partnerships with a diverse network of leading problem solvers, including E opportunities to scale solutions that work.
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 3
What if “the problem” of youth could be radically flipped?
outh in Africa are stuck in narratives that frame them as either makers or breakers1, vandals or vanguards2. They are likely to be discussed as problems to be solved and a generation not yet ready for the responsibilities of adulthood. Statistics surrounding youth fuel the concern: policy-makers and citizen sector organizations have been alarmed by youth unemployment statistics3 in Sub-Saharan Africa for more than a decade—the sheer demographic force of Africa being blamed for the region’s increasingly youthful populations4 (already the highest in the world at 200 million youth5 ). Similarly, the missed opportunities of African governments to promote informal sectors of the economy6, the skills gap7 between education and the jobs of Africa’s evolving workplace, and disagreements on labor market definitions8 for youth and unemployment have been key issues on the agenda.
Social Innovators Offer a New Way Forward Social innovators are redefining the story of Africa’s youth: creating new norms in which every youth thrives and is trusted to lead. They are adopting approaches that do not view youth as the “problem”, but rather as leaders in creating solutions for themselves, and their communities. They recognize the meaningful contributions that youth can make today, and are creating new pathways to ensure young people gain the skills and experiences necessary to thrive in changing job markets. These innovative approaches range from established and scaling to startups with budding proof of impact, and they serve the full breadth of youth years and experiences from the primary school to higher education, incarcerated youth to rural farmers, recent graduates to out-of-school learners, from informal jobs to formal, vocational or entrepreneurial paths.
Six Paradigm Shifts for Transforming Youth Employment and Leadership Through interviews and case studies of over 45 Ashoka network social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in 17 countries, six major paradigm shifts have been identified as integral to addressing the historical and cultural marginalization of young Africans, and ultimately changing the ecosystem for youth employment in the region. These shifts also present specific innovation opportunities in the region, and are already being applied by the social innovators featured in this report in order to create impact: 1. Don’t Exploit Youth or Create Entitlement: Reward Meaningful Contributions: Creative forms of compensation and personal opportunities ensure young people build a culture of self-sufficiency in return for personally investing their own time or money, moving away from the harmful effects of hand-outs or from asking young people to work or volunteer in critical roles without offering a fair exchange through compensation, recognition, a decision-making voice, or other non-monetary benefit. 2. D esign Classrooms Without Walls: Youth Rapidly Skill-Up Through Community Problem-Solving: Removing the barriers between classrooms and real-world experiences ensures that youth work in teams to problem-solve and gain essential skills for the workplace, shifting away from overly theoretical, rote education, and narrow work experiences which leave youth unable to keep up with changing marketplace needs 3. Promote Purpose and Holistic Health as Foundational for Career Development: Activities that lead to a self-discovery of personal purpose and strengths, as well as support of every dimension of health ensure that youth expand their understanding of what’s necessary for successful, widespread livelihoods beyond skills training, job-matching, and
4 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
financing. 4. Redefine What Counts as a “Good” Job: Elevating informal jobs as viable respected livelihoods, leveraging alternative industries to expand job options, and promoting a shift in focus from jobs only to entrepreneurship radically shifts the mindset of both young people and the wider society. 5. Revive Intergenerational Teamwork: No longer having youth go through each stage of education and development in silos with insufficient mentorship or apprenticeship opportunities, and instead fostering deliberate opportunities and new structures for individuals from different generations to form sustained, collaborative relationships creates avenues for the younger generation to be more successful in securing their own livelihoods and wellbeing.
regionally or internationally. Building on the insights and examples featured throughout each section, this guide also offers a framework for transformative youth leadership - as well as a self-evaluation titled “How Well Do You Develop Youth Leaders?” for initiatives to identify how closely they mirror practices by the social innovators featured in this report.
6. Don’t Just Serve Youth — Trust Youth to Lead: Moving away from serving youth in a top-down approach that creates a culture of dependency and leaves youth ill-prepared to secure their own livelihoods shapes youth as engaged, active and meaningful contributors to their communities As concrete examples of these paradigm shifts in action, Maharishi Institute founder Taddy Blecher is redefining higher education by launching South Africa’s first free university and ensuring it is rooted in both holistic health and hands-on job experiences, resulting in a 98% job placement rate. Regina Agyare Honu is redefining who can fill technology jobs by launching a training program for girls in Ghana and throughout West Africa where they begin applying Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to local community needs; Karim Sy is redefining who is called upon to solve country’s pressing problems, launching a network of tech coworking spaces in over nine countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Cameroon, Morocco, Benin and France) for young people to form companies that tackle challenges like creating a new election monitoring systems with over 100 companies launched so far; Verengai Mabika is preparing youth to serve as experts in new emerging market needs particularly in preventing or preparing society for the effects of climate change, serving over 2,000 students annually from 32 African countries; and Abubaker Musuuza is elevating the role of informal technicians as clean energy specialists by starting to build a network of last mile technicians in rural villages whose services build confidence by the community in clean energy products that would otherwise go unused. Social innovators are not just demonstrating their model works for solving the youth employment crisis in their local areas, but also advocating for changes to become widespread norms, actively shaping national policy changes and replicating their models
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 5
Looking Ahead Our interrogation of how the social innovators in this network have succeeded in growing young people who are creative problems solvers and inclusive leaders — changemakers — has told us that it is imperative to tackle underlying patterns that continue to spur youth unemployment. However, even with many of the social innovations featured in this guide scaling regionally and influencing national policy, they still represent a small number of interventions relative to the scale of gaps in youth livelihoods, school to work transitions, and work inclusiveness across Africa. We hope this guide inspires youth development institutions, educators, governments, and funders to think differently about the problem of youth livelihoods and that leadership can find ways to collaborate across silos in adopting these paradigm shifts. The creativity, disruptive ideas, and focus on results by social innovators featured in this report such as Regina Honu offer a compelling case for hope, “What I want to leave for the next generation is the change in the system, whereby young people are allowed to experience their full potential. Nothing is impossible. Everything that they hope and aspire to be can be possible.”
How To Read The Social Innovation Guide The following guide features learnings from the Future Forward network, an innovation network dedicated to transforming livelihoods and leadership of youth in Africa. The innovation opportunities highlighted in the report are intended for program managers, social entrepreneurs, funders or policy makers seeking to learn about effective approaches or potential partners for transforming youth norms.
if you haveâ€Ś
read the Introduction
take the Self-Evaluation
read the chapters on Innovation Opportunities
6 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................. 4 INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................. 8 INNOVATION OPPORTUNITIES .................................................................................. 13
1. D on’t Exploit Youth or Create Entitlement: ................................................... 14 Reward Meaningful Contributions a. Create New Currencies b. Offer Paid Work Experience c. Request Payment for Services Offered
2. Design Classrooms Beyond Walls: .................................................................. 17 Ensure Young People Rapidly Skill-Up through Community Problem Solving a.Structure Hands-on, Team Experiences b.Leverage Creative Financing Models
3. P romote Purpose and Holistic Health as ....................................................... 21 Foundational for Career Development a. Guide Discovery of Personal Purpose b. Support Holistic Health Needs
4. Redefine What Counts as a “Good” Job ....................................................... 26 a. Elevate “Informal” Jobs as Viable, Respected Livelihoods b. Leverage Alternative Industries c. Shift from “Jobs” to Entrepreneurship
5. Revive Intergenerational Teamwork .............................................................. 35 a. Establish Decision-Making Pathways b. Create Cross-Grade Family Units c. Incentivize Mentorship Programs d. Facilitate Learning Circles
6. Don’t Just Serve Youth, Trust Youth to Lead ............................................... 38 a. Create Youth Leadership Roles b. Position Adult Champions and Ensure Accessibility c. Facilitate Experiential Learning
LOOKING AHEAD .......................................................................................................... 43 APPENDIX ...................................................................................................................... 46 A1. Methodology A2. References A3. Case Studies A4. List of Figures A5. Self-Evaluation: How Well Do You Develop Youth Leaders? A6. Acknowledgements
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 7
Youth Employment: The Need for Systemic Change Beyond Government Policies
olicy-makers and citizen sector organizations have been alarmed by youth unemployment statistics9 in Sub-Saharan Africa for more than a decade. Unemployment can range as high as 40-50%10 in Mozambique and South Africa, respectively—or be closer to the global average of 13%11 in countries with significant populations such as in Nigeria—signifying 11 million young people in Nigeria alone.12 This unprecedented employment problem is blamed on the sheer demographic force of Africa’s increasingly youthful populations13—already the highest in the world at 200 million youth14—as well as the missed opportunities of African governments to promote informal sectors15, the skills gap16 between education and the jobs of Africa’s evolving workplace, and even disagreements on labor market definitions17 for youth and unemployment. The statistics are so alarming that an abundant number of governments in Africa, 48 so far18, have instituted national youth policies to set priorities for engaging and employing youth. Unfortunately, these policies have not succeeded in leading to the systemic change necessary for young people to be successful in an evolving labor market.
Kazi kwa Vijana: A Kenyan Case of Failed Institutional Intervention A few years after Kenya adopted a comprehensive National Youth Policy in 200619, the government partnered with the World Bank to launch a work relief program called Kazi kwa Vijana (Work for Youth). Local authorities recruited young people as laborers in large public works projects, such as building roads, creating dams, constructing irrigation networks and reforesting
rural areas. The young workers were offered 400 Kenyan Shillings (US$ 4) a day for 40 days of work. The total compensation was to be delivered in a lump sum of 16,000 Shillings, the equivalent at the time of about US$ 200, more than many of these young people had previously received. Such an amount of money had the potential to serve as seed capital to start a business, make an investment in higher education, or help support family members. However, the World Bank announced20 its discontinuation of support for the program only two years after it had begun. The decision came in response to public claims21 that government employees had received sitting allowances for unrelated meetings and expenses had been reported for activities that never took place. Even worse, many of the youth enrolled in the program worked only a fraction of the time promised and when they did get paid, found that money had been skimmed off the daily wage and diverted to the local implementing agency. The young Kenyans who shared this story22 all recognized it as business as usual. Kazi kwa Vijana did not fail simply because of habitual corruption practices. It failed, like so many other well-intentioned youth programs, because it did not address the underlying problems contributing to persistent youth under-employment in Kenya. The conditions looked suspiciously similar to what they found in kibarua work, a term used in East Africa to describe non-contracted and unskilled day labor: fluctuating wages, unclear length of employment, and corruption. This program ended up replicating economic opportunities to which young people already had access and exactly the same survival strategies they used while hustling in the informal economy. But in the case of Kazi kwa Vijana, they were doing so within an ineffective institutional framework. When the program failed to deliver a steadier wage than kibarua, it failed to be anything more than a reminder to youth that their exploitation was still the norm.
8 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Youth Arts Collaborative, Pawa254, Kenya
Waithood: Commonplace In Spite of Youth Policies
Social Innovators: Tackling the Root Causes of Youth Unemployment
Over the last 20 years, the demographic dividend in Africa has become a priority for local governments and the international community that supports the continent through foreign direct investment and international aid.
The planners of youth employment interventions frequently consider the large macro-economic forces that inhibit a significant percentage of young people’s access to productive, long-term and meaningful work in Africa. These interventionists encourage foreign direct investment, believing that it is a lack of capital that explains why formal job creation is slow and inconsistent. Some of their interventions focus on training programs to meet the needs of private sector employers who complain of a lack of skilled talent.
Most countries have seen the rise of youth policies23 often paid for through broad-based international coalitions pushing for inclusion of young people into political and social processes from which they have been historically excluded. As Young African Leaders Initiative founder24 Michele Gavin describes25,“Today, when their demographic weight is much greater relative to older Africans than it has been in the past, young people are most often cast in the role of a diffusely destabilizing threat, rather than as potential agents of political and social transformation26.” Thus, a pervasive ideology persists positing young people as makers or breakers27 and vandals or vanguards28. Youth in Africa can’t seem to escape a narrative that they are problems to be solved and a generation not yet ready for the responsibilities of adulthood. In spite of big investments being made in Africa’s younger population, progress is slow, and the results are a far cry from the earlier recognition of the critical roles youth have played in the independence movements of African countries. The “stuck” youth29 across Africa are trapped in a protracted liminal state between adolescence and adulthood, unable to attain the material goods or cultural capital that enables them to graduate.30 The unemployment situation is made worse because it has become expected that after school young people will enter a period of culturally accepted waithood, where they struggle to succeed.31 In other words, “one might metaphorically say that, in a way, the socially and culturally accepted initiation of the young into adult society—that in many societies used to be ritually marked by rites of transition and a period of seclusion and training—can no longer be properly accomplished in Africa 32.”
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 9
These are all meaningful interventions, but the ineffectiveness of existing employment policies, the systemic cultural, social and political barriers preventing young people from engaging meaningfully in their own development, and the persistent mismatch between education and the job market were the most commonly flagged societal challenges cited by the network engaged for this innovation guide. The following pages offer lessons learned from interviews and case studies of over 45 leading African social innovators in 17 countries, with an increased emphasis on models. Each was convened through the Ashoka Future Forward network, and learnings were further gathered through engagement and listening sessions among a broader network of leaders at youth serving organizations spanning 43 of the 54 African countries (Fig. A-C). Learnings from the network offer an alternative approach. Our network tackles the deeper issues preventing young people from reaching economic security. These are the issues that promise to remain unresolved as long as historical and cultural marginalization are not also addressed. The systemic barriers are pervasive; in the same breath that a young person’s plight is lamented by a politician, young people are also called lazy, dangerous, or reckless. It is not uncommon for a young African to experience extreme prejudice from relatives or elders in their community based solely on their age and young people repeatedly report
that they feel marginalized, tokenized and exploited, rather than given real roles and responsibilities. Given the rapid rate of change in the job market, preparing young people in Africa to be workers for jobs as usual leaves them out of the jobs of tomorrow. More than that, the focus on training workers, and not well-rounded citizens, fails to create African societies that are better protected from socio-political turbulence. The concept of waithood33—not still children, but not quite adults—resonates with young people across the continent and conventional approaches to youth employment are neither tackling the root cause nor disrupting the current norms.
The approaches championed by the Ashoka Future Forward network are dedicated to flipping systemic problems into long-term solutions and changing the ecosystem for youth development in Africa. In particular, as a result of the insights of the social entrepreneurs interviewed, this innovation guide challenges the assumptions about what causes unemployment and distills six of the most promising paradigm shifts that social entrepreneurs are advocating within society, in the form of specific innovation opportunities.
Map: Future Forward Innovation Network in Africa Social entrepreneurs, program managers, and school leaders in over 43 countries have received awards or attended collaboration events dedicated to discovery and supporting transformative efforts for solving youth employment challenges. Models with notable scale and impact are cited more frequently from South Africa throughout the guide given Ashoka’s first presence in Africa was in South Africa.
43% East Africa
28% FIGURE B
Future Forward Innovation Network by Sub-Region
22% Central Africa
4% North Africa
10 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Future Forward Innovators in Focus: Sectorally Diverse The following chart features the sectoral focus of 324 social entrepreneurs within the network, particularly those elected as Ashoka Fellows that focus on youth development in Africa.
Economic Development 19.4% Education 45.4%
Six Paradigm Shifts Integral to Addressing Youth Unemployment in Africa Social innovators - both social entrepreneurs pioneering their own organizations and intrapreneurs leading within existing organizations - are working to shift paradigms - the fundamental approaches or assumptions that shape practices across every level of society. Paradigm shifts influence cultural mindsets, institutional structures, policies, and market dynamics - and are what can catalyze society-wide change down to the individual level. Through interviews and case studies of over 45 Ashoka network social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in 17 countries, six major paradigm shifts have been identified as integral to addressing the historical and cultural marginalization of young Africans, and ultimately changing the ecosystem for youth employment in the region. These shifts also present specific innovation opportunities in the region, and are already being applied by the social innovators featured in this report in order to create impact: 1. Don’t Exploit Youth or Create Entitlement: Reward Meaningful Contributions: creative forms of compensation and personal opportunities ensure young people create a culture of self-sufficiency in return for personally investing their own time or money—no matter how under-resourced their background may be. Strategies for creating a fair exchange for meaningful contributions include creating new currencies, offering paid work experience, offering non-monetary benefits and requiring payment for services (not offering free classes). 2. Design Classrooms Beyond Walls: Youth Rapidly Skill-Up Through Community Problem-Solving: removing the barriers between classrooms and real-world experience ensures that youth work in teams to problem-solve and gain essential skills for the workplace such as empathy, critical thinking,
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 11
Civic Participation 12%
Human Rights 9.3%
collaboration, creativity and leadership. 3. P romote Purpose and Holistic Health as Foundational for Career Development: activities that lead to a self-discovery of personal purpose and strengths, as well as support of every dimension of health—from financial and physical to social and mental—ensure youth are more driven as future employees, find greater success in self-employment, and are better positioned to apply to multiple jobs as a result of being focused on transferable skills. 4. R edefine What Counts as a “Good” Job: what makes for a successful career or livelihood? The main pathways to radically shifting the mindset of both young people and the wider society include elevating informal jobs as viable respected livelihoods, leveraging alternative industries to redefine what constitutes a “good” job, and promoting a shift in focus from jobs to entrepreneurship. 5. Revive Intergenerational Teamwork: fostering deliberate opportunities for individuals from different generations to form sustained relationships and collaborate creates avenues for the younger generation to be more successful in securing their own livelihoods and wellbeing. New structures for intergenerational support include decision-making units, cross-grade family units, learning circles, and incentivized mentorship programs. 6. Don’t Just Serve Youth—Trust Youth to Lead: moving from serving youth in a top-down approach that creates a culture of dependency and leaves youth ill-prepared to secure their own livelihoods to trusting them to make real decisions and have their voices heard consistently shapes youth as engaged, active and meaningful contributors to their communities. Critical enabling ingredients include cross-generational or peer-to-peer teams, adult champions, ensuring adult accessibility, and crafting effective experiential learning opportunities.
Youth Arts Collaborative, Pawa254, Kenya
What is a Social Innovator? This report roots its insights in the perspective of social innovatorsÂâ€”individuals who are taking creative action to tackle a social problem; they are personally connected to the issues and communities they work within, and tenacious about ensuring there is lasting impact. For this report, social innovators have included entrepreneurs and as well intrapreneurs. Social entrepreneurs: individuals who create new organizations or initiatives rooted in a new idea to create disruptive systems change. They also have demonstrated clear social impact on a national, regional or global scale, are creative in building unique types of organizations, networks, or partnerships to ensure success, and have a strong ethical fiber. For this report, this has included case studies of Fellows that have been selected by Ashoka as well as earlier stage social entrepreneurs that have submitted youth-lead solutions to youth employment as a part of Ashoka Changemakers collaborative competitions. Social intrapreneurs: individuals who are applying entrepreneurial skills within existing institutions in order to tackle a social problem. For this report, insights were drawn from case studies of leaders that are leading innovation within primary and secondary schools and from dialogue with program managers at youth serving organizations.
12 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Six Paradigm Shifts for Transforming Youth Employment and Leadership
P A R A D I G M
EMERGING P A R A D I G M
Unpaid work and handouts offered in a way that creates a culture of dependency.
Don’t Exploit Youth or Create Entitlement: Reward Meaningful Contributions Finding creative ways to ensure young people receive a fair exchange for their contributions, paid through real currency, virtual currency, or non-monetary benefits. Youth also pay to participate, driving ownership of processes.
Classroom based, theoretical, or rote education. Apprenticeships or internships that do not teach diverse sets of skills. Entering workforce without relevant work experience or translatable skills.
Design Classrooms Beyond Walls: Ensure Youth Rapidly Skill-Up through Community Problem-Solving Real-world, hands-on, project and team based. Youth are better equipped with the necessary skills and resilience to succeed.
Youth have limited job options by choosing a single path before understanding their own personal strengths. Health is not prioritized as much as skills training, job-matching, and financing for ensuring successful careers.
Promote Purpose and Holistic Health as Foundational for Career Development Consider multiple pathways based on skills-alignment; holistic education and self-discovery is a must-have, not nice-to-have ingredient for ensuring the resilience of youth, and the resilience of their careers.
Formal job market of established wage-job options. Jobs are selected in fields that are too saturated, without adequate preparation, or without knowing the full range of options.
Redefine What Counts as a “Good” Job Elevating informal jobs, nontraditional fields, and entrepreneurial options
Age groups remain in silos and lose out on support systems needed to succeed. Insufficient mentorship and apprenticeship opportunities.
Revive Intergenerational Teamwork New ways to form sustained relationships and collaborations, with explicit intention of supporting the younger generation towards success. The results: a restoration of cross-generational collaboration.
Youth are served with a top-down approach and either thought of as “the problem” or “the future.”
Don’t Just Serve Youth--Trust Youth to Lead Youth make real decisions, have their voices heard consistently, and are meaningful contributors to their communities as a result of youth leadership roles, adult champions, and experiential learning.
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 13
Don’t Exploit Youth or Create Entitlement: Reward Meaningful Contributions
Students at Tech Needs Girls in Ghana gain the skills and experiences to excel at Information and Communications Technology careers, learning, in part, through being matched to paid internships.
hen the rains would come down in her region in Ghana, there were times when Regina Agyare Honu witnessed homes being destroyed. But it wasn’t just the destruction alone that worried her. “When I was young,” she explains, “I used to always see how people would wait on somebody. They would come and see me and say ‘We’re waiting for the government.’” She would wonder, “Why is it that somebody else must come and solve the problem?” So Regina launched Tech Needs Girls to teach and connect girls throughout West Africa to ICT careers in Ghana to ensure young people are equipped with the right skills to find creative ways of solving local needs. “Simply put, I want Africans to be responsible for their own problems and Africans to solve their own problems.”
This sentiment is a driver shared by social entrepreneurs designing interventions for youth across Africa, and one common approach for achieving this is by finding creative ways to ensure young people receive compensation or personal opportunities as a result of personally investing their own time or money – no matter how under-resourced they have been in the past. Importantly, this does not negate the importance of cultivating intrinsic motivation for learning and work, as discussed later in the guide in our innovation opportunity on cultivating purpose and holistic health (page 21). There are three main ways that social entrepreneurs are leveraging compensation or payment in order to create a culture of self-sufficiency: a. Create new currencies b. Offer paid work experiences c. Request payment for services offered
14 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
a Create New Currencies When Kenya’s mobile telecom company Safaricom, launched M-Pesa a mobile money transfer system that used the simple tools of feature phones in 2007, they started a revolution in the way that money was used and shared across Kenya and eventually much of the continent. Virtual currencies—some backed by real cash, others by other kinds of assets, services or goods —are not new but are being creatively appropriated by social innovators seeking ways to ensure that program beneficiaries are able to maximize non-monetary assets. Like Bangla-Pesa,34 a community currency used by the residents of the informal settlement, Bangladesh, located outside Mombasa, Kenya - these avenues allow citizens to leverage what they do have -- a small garden plot or a motorcycle to create virtuous cycle of giving in a place that is cash poor. This concept has been adopted within institutions working with youth. By creating an organizational currency that ensures youth participation, but also creates a feedback loop to understand which learning or services are seen as the most valuable, youth can access resources without creating a culture of dependency. Social innovators who are leveraging this approach include: arlon Parker, founder of RLabs, a social innovation M academy and incubator in Cape Town, South Africa, who has established the “Zlto” virtual currency which is used by young people in the Mitchell’s Plain area of the Cape Flats to select courses or events to attend at the academy, accessing laptops and booking rooms at RLabs Youth Cafes, paying for snacks and coffee at the Cafes, as well as accessing necessities such as medical care or basic goods at local partner institutions. Since its inception in 2008, RLabs has created over 20,000 jobs35 and is active in 22 countries36. K airos School of Inquiry also in Cape Town, South Africa which has established its own currency for primary school students. The children use the currency to initiate mini-businesses with each other, an idea created by the learners themselves.
b Offer Paid Work Experience One of the major complaints from young people involved in youth livelihoods work with youth-serving organizations has to do with a persistent characteristic of waithood—that young people must volunteer their time rather than being paid a wage. When they are given wages, these sometimes come in the form of
“stipends, sitting fees, or transport”—further diminishing what could be valuable work experience and
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 15
contribute to a work history in favor of continued exploitation37. Social entrepreneur, Sena Alouka in Togo describes his approach to building income-generating activities as a core part of solving environmental issues—“the free world is gone. We try to say there is no free lunch in this town. There would be some different circumstances, but it’s imperative that we make sure that people pay for everything, contribute whether in kind or in a job or in cash.” Instead he establishes ongoing partnerships with companies that align with the program’s specific educational focus, and ensure that young people gain work experience and earn an income. Social Innovators leveraging this approach include: H offman B. Moka Lantum, 2020 Microclinics Initiative, Kenya - having begun with a pilot to train and employ a team of twenty youth, 2020 Microclinics aims scale to employ over 5,000 youths to provide technical support in health clinics by 2020, ensuring the health system operates at 90% optimal levels38. S ena Alouka, Young Volunteers for the Environment, Togo—Employing youth in environmental management through three ongoing, large-scale income-generating projects including a solar-powered water disinfection system, improved cooking stoves to reduce wood consumption, and providing solar lamps at affordable prices to communities without electricity. Over 100 teacher-trainers have been trained in Togo alone, over 1,000 youth have been skilled in green entrepreneurship, and an audience of over one million is reached via a weekly TV program (as Mr Alouka runs a weekly TV program). Young Volunteers for the Environment has national programs in 28 African countries with 14 operational offices39. A ndrew Ross, Umthombo Youth, South Africa – Enables students to meet the shortages of medical professionals in rural areas by requiring them to work in local rural hospitals while studying and participating in outreach activities to local communities that lead them to be more proactive at solving healthcare gaps. In exchange students are offered full tuition, university accommodations, and mentorship from other rural doctors as well as program alumni. In 2015, Umthombo supported 230 students covering 14 different health-science disciplines, and produced 38 graduates achieving a pass rate of 93%, far exceeding the national average of 50% (35% for students at a disadvantage)40. R egina Honu, Tech Needs Girls, Ghana - After going through a 6-month ICT course, girls are eligible for a paid internship to get more practical experience through partnerships with software companies. Since its founding in 2013, over 3,500 girls have been through Regina’s program; Regina has expanded to Burkina Faso, and established a school on coding and human centered design41.
c Request Payment for Services Offered Asking youth participants to pay real currency for participation in their services, even if only a nominal amount, reinforces a culture of self-sufficiency and leads to higher program completion rates. Jonathan Mativo, founder of ICT for Development Kenya describes his approach, “let the participants contribute, because when they do that they feel that, “‘Yes, I have an obligation to complete this training and to ensure that I get something out of it.’ As an organization,” he continues, “we are trying to get strict or get off the traditional way of developing communities and telling people that it is your role to take yourself out of poverty.” Social entrepreneurs that are asking youth participants to pay at affordable rates include: I CT for Development Kenya—trains, mentors, and networks underserved communities in Kenya for self sufficiency and sustainability, with a 1-month curriculum designed for youths to cultivate their ICT, personal, and entrepreneurial skills. Since 2014, over 30,000 individuals have been trained, including youths and children, men and women42. oung Volunteers for Environment, Togo + 24 countries—engaging young people as environmental champions Y and supporting the creation of the green economy in the Sahel region.
“Zlto” Currency : How it Works Invest Partnerships through government grants, private foundations, local businesses, and crowdfundnig campaigns create resources that youth can access. Currency is created and managed via mobile app
Earn Youth earn Zlto currency by participation in courses, training workshops and by initiating community projects
Spend on Supplies and Holistic Needs Access to laptops
Tracking where currency is utilized creates feedback on which programming is most valued.
Spend on Trainings Choose which courses and training workshops to attend.
Booking rooms Cothing for job interviews Nutritious food to support focused studying Access to doctors Items for household
At the RLabs youth and innovation centers in South Africa, any young person between the ages of 17 to 35 who registers is given access to the virtual currency Zlto, run by an RLabs mobile app. Beyond an initial access to 100 Zlto units, further currency is earned through participation in courses, workshops, stations that cover topics such as job readiness, skills and training, personal development, and entrepreneurship, or even by simply positive contributions to their community. The youth earn from attending or engaging in projects, but also need to pay with the currency to attend them. RLabs Youth organizer, Craig Jephta, explains “it’s like giving an incentive for learning – not just to spark curiosity but to make young people more eager to learn things.” The currency can then be utilized to purchase food snacks or coffee at the RLabs cafe, access laptops and book community rooms. And it extends beyond the direct needs related to their trainings -- it also covers holistic needs for being able to establish self-sufficiency, like giving access to doctors, clothes needed for job interviews, and being able to buy things like milk, sanitary napkins or other goods for their larger households. In this way, they are able to contribute to their families and to breakdown stereotypes about youth that adults use to justify waithood. Jephta stresses the importance of the overall culture, environment, and experience that enables the currency system to be successful. “In the local communities we are from people have often given up on the youth, even the government has destructive mindsets. We are about instilling hope in their lives so that they can’t give up on themselves. It can’t just be a nice and crazy and fun environment.” Instead, he emphasizes “it’s about putting systems and processes in place. The goal is to transform people’s lives. We are developing their lives so that they can develop others’; youth are skilled up, trained up, and personally developed.”
16 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Design Classrooms Without Walls: Ensure Young People Rapidly Skill-Up through Community Problem Solving
alk into the small town where Actonville Primary School (APS) is located outside Cape Town, South Africa and you may find yourself in the middle of a dance competition, an emotional and physical well being checkup, or a community gathering – all activities are planned and managed by primary school students. At APS, students create and manage “community heart and soul” days like these on a regular basis and nurture partnerships with more than 30 local organizations to offer services to the school and larger community. Just like APS, schools and social entrepreneurs in over nine African Union countries are redesigning education by offering hands-on experiences in parallel with the school year and in many cases ask students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to solving community problems. As a
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 17
result, students find direct applicability to what they learn in class rather than becoming disaffected by an education they find irrelevant. They do not have to wait for future internships or apprenticeships to gain real-world experience. “This is game-changing because by the time they go out to an employer, they’ve got a CV, they’ve got work experience. They’ve been a manager, they’ve been a leader, they’ve done everything,” describes Taddy Blecher, founder of Maharishi Institute, a virtually free, distance-learning, higher educational institution – which is infused with real-world learning opportunities. Schools using this approach create immediate accountability for the education being offered by ensuring that what is being taught within the classroom is building transferable knowledge and skills through application on projects outside the classroom walls. Changes in how a classroom is designed to include problem-solving in real-world settings makes a real difference. These schools create a generation of prepared, skilled, and resilient youth with actual work experience.
Two important aspects of effectively designing classrooms beyond walls include:
Out of School Learners; Vocational Training
a. Structure hands-on experiences as team-based, problem-solving projects
ICT for Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Rural Communities—at ICT4D in Kilifi, Kenya, more than 30,000 students have been engaged over the last seven years in ICT training on computer applications tied to entrepreneurship scenarios43. The program is particularly designed to reach out-of-school learners in rural areas and offered at hours that accommodate farming schedules. The training emphasizes competence based learning, preparing youth to be industry ready.
b. Identify creative financing models to make hands-on classroom experiences possible
a Structure hands-on, team experiences
Practical, hands-on projects bring classroom theory to life and prepare youth to be able to close the gap between job-seekers and the needs of the job market. For example, the Actonville Primary School student-led community days teach the math knowledge needed to organize the logistics for the days project, like a community health gathering, and builds essential skills for employment like empathy and critical thinking in identifying a problem, collaboration by working in teams with classmates and community members, creativity in designing a solution without a blueprint, and leadership in taking on the responsibility to make decisions. The educational institutions and social entrepreneurs who blend classroom experience with real-world or community problem-solving experiences are widespread across Africa—they work in primary schools and universities, in vocational training centers and in programs targeting learners not tied to formal educational institutions. Examples of team-based, problem-solving projects tied to classrooms include:
Early Education Household Action Plans—at the Uganda Rural Development and Training Program - Girls Primary School (URDT) in Kagadi, Uganda, a project founded by Ashoka Fellow Mwalimu Musheshe, students identify issues to solve outside of school, formulate a vision for change, and develop action plans to work on during the holidays. Energy Systems—At Imhoff Waldorf School, Kommetjie, South Africa, students compost their organic waste and manage the school’s 100% solar power-run energy system. Awareness Campaigns—at the Senegalese American Bilingual Schools, Dakar, Senegal, students are encouraged to lead public awareness campaigns on social issues.
Vocational Training via Entrepreneurship Centers—at Young Africa centers in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana, equipment and space is leased to local entrepreneurs who then offer apprenticeships to students in vocational fields. In 2015, 3,120 youth graduated from Young Africa with a rate of 76% economically active44.
Higher Education Meeting Medical Shortages—at Umthombo Youth Development Foundation in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, students meet shortages of medical professionals in rural areas by working in local hospitals while studying and participating in outreach activities with local communities that lead them to be more proactive and empathetic in solving healthcare gaps. In 2015, Umthombo supported 230 students covering 14 different health-science disciplines, and produced 38 graduates achieving a pass rate of 93%45. Practical Agricultural Experience—through the efforts of Solidarité Rurale in Porto Novo, Benin, the agricultural curricula at universities are shifting so that learners gain technical and field expertise prior to completing their certification studies, developing the practical skills employers seek and experiences needed to start their own farming successful businesses. More than 600 people visit the center each year to follow this model46. Meeting Community-Economic Needs: Through Enactus Senegal, students in every major university can join clubs that identify community partners to work with on pressing projects focused on social impact. For example, a team from Bambey University in Senegal worked with an agricultural cooperative to develop a market gardening production unit and manufacturing of solar cookers47. This boosted sales through a new pricing policy48. Since its inception in 2005, Enactus Senegal has engaged 280 students in 12 projects across seven Senegalese universities49.
18 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
b Leverage creative financing models
The following are two creative financing approaches by social innovators that make it affordable to offer the types of real-world experiences that better equip youth for livelihoods, including the “pay it forward” model by Maharishi Institute and the self-sustaining Young Africa entrepreneurship and vocational centres.
“Pay it Forward” Scholarships Distressed that only 14% of South African youth are currently able to access the higher education needed to compete for job opportunities, Taddy Blecher responded with a radical solution. He created the Maharishi Institute where students pay only a portion of their tuition fees while they complete their degree, with the majority being paid through income earned while working. Every student has several opportunities to earn an income or reduce their costs through:
The businesses benefit from the Young Africa brand and network as well as the talent of students who apprentice with them for a minimal fee. These students eventually make up a robust talent pool from which the businesses can hire future employees. The students benefit because they experience a fluid learning and working space. The model helps them to explore career options and as founder Dorien Beurskens describes, they develop the “skills of heart and mind” as well as “skills of hand” needed to succeed. Since 2015, Young Africa has trained 29,120 youth in vocational skills with an average employment rate of 83%53.
ampus jobs: students run operations for the C university, earning money for their efforts aid internships: the university forms partnerships P with companies where students can gain work experience and earn an income Student-funded scholarships: graduating students who secure a job pay a small portion of their income to fund new students. All these methods enable students to feel a sense of co-ownership in the education process and in the success of their peers. These methods also allow them to gain practical, hands-on experiences outside the classroom, affordably. On graduation, students are required to complete the repayment of their bursary loan and are then able to ”pay it forward” by nominating a family member to attend Maharishi Institute. Since its inception in 200750, over 5,500 graduates have gone on to claim promising jobs51. Besides the two campuses, Taddy has helped found at least six other free educational institutions in South Africa, with plans to spread the model throughout Africa and globally52. Partnerships with the Department of Basic Education in South Africa and with the Government of Swaziland are in the final planning stages to incorporate entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and mindfulness education into the national curricula.
Match Schools with Entrepreneurship Centers The Young Africa centers in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana are not ordinary vocational schools. Each “Young Africa” center leases equipment and space to local entrepreneurs who want to turn their informal ventures into formal businesses. YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 19
Young Africa’s skills training centers are unique in their methodology for training and educating youth and they are also financed in a truly novel way. First, the capital expenditures for building up the skills centers come from institutional donors that Young Africa helps to secure. Second, the operating expenses of Young Africa’s programs are financed by monthly rental fees from the local entrepreneurs who run each vocational training department. Finally, students’ monthly fees finance the entrepreneur’s wages and expenditures. With this innovative approach to financing, Young Africa has created a self-sustainable business model that many organizations have replicated. 83% of graduates have either found a job or apprenticeship or have started a business, and the centers are self-sustainable in operation.
Sustainability Model in Focus: “Pay it Forward” Scholarships
Upon employment, graduates pay back bursary, interest free (RD600 monthly for 7-10 years), sponsoring a new student
Enabling Affordable, High-Quality Education & Job Readiness
1st year students receive loan and bursaries. 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students earn funds to pay back loan or support another studuent by working part-time through work-study opportunit. This is known as “Learn and Earn” and “Pay it Forward” programs)
Initial student fund established
Schools receive feedback loop on quality of education for job-readiness through closer tracking of alumni success while they pay back their loans, which sponsor new students.
Sustainability Model in Focus: Young Africa Match Schools with Entrepreneurship Centers The Young Africa centers in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana are not ordinary vocational schools. Each “Young Africa” center leases equipment and space to local entrepreneurs who want to turn their informal ventures into formal businesses. The businesses benefit from the Young Africa brand and network as well as the talent of students who apprentice with them for a minimal fee. These students eventually make up a robust talent pool from which the businesses can hire future employees. The students benefit because they experience a fluid learning and working space. The model helps them to explore career options and as founder Dorien Beurskens describes, they develop the “skills of heart and mind” as well as “skills of hand” needed to succeed. Since 2015, Young Africa has trained 29,120 youth in vocational skills with an average employment rate of 83%. Young Africa’s skills training centers are unique in their methodology for training and educating youth and they are also financed in a truly novel way. First, the capital expenditures for building up the skills centers come from institutional donors that Young Africa helps to secure. Second, the operating expenses of Young Africa’s programs are financed by monthly rental fees from the local entrepreneurs who run each vocational training department. Finally, students’ monthly fees finance the entrepreneur’s wages and expenditures. With this innovative approach to financing, Young Africa has created a self-sustainable business model that many organizations have replicated. 83% of graduates have either found a job or apprenticeship or have started a business, and the centers are self-sustainable in operation.
Self-Reliant Entrepreneurship and Vocational Training Centers
CAPITAL EXPENDITURES Institutional Donors ~$3,500,000
~$ 3,500,000 Centers are 100% self-reliant in operational cost
Self-reliance usually achieved after 6 years of operations
YOUNG AFRICA SKILLS CENTER
Opex consists of 65% management & administration, 35% programme costs
Rent received from entrepreneurs: premise, equipment and brand at center
Salaries, admin and programs (~$250,000)
Each training & production department, rented out to an entrepreneur
School fees from students (fees below 1 month’s minimum wage)
Rent of premise, equipment and brand at center
Organizational capacity building of YA International until hand-over to a local team
20 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Promote Purpose and Holistic Health as Foundational for Career Development
Youth at Future Farmers, South Africa, are prepared for agricultural management careers after a multi-year training program which includes choosing a sub-field only after guided reflection on where their interests lie.
t the time that Esther Eshiet and her friends graduated from the University of Calabar in Nigeria, she noticed a worrying trend. One of her friends had to take the first administrative job she could find in order to support herself and her family instead of having the time to explore a career that aligned with what she had studied in school. She also noticed that most of her classmates were struggling to find employment because they were not able to identify their own career goals. Esther took issue with how the education system failed to set these young people up to choose careers. “The current approach,” she observed, “is you go to school, you take your classes, you read up, and you write your exams. You’re basically preparing for an exam.” Esther’s classmates were not the only ones - in fact, as many as 23.1%
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 21
of university graduates are unemployed in Nigeria, 41.6% in Ghana, and 15.7% in Kenya54. Following this experience, Esther founded the After School Mentoring Project in 2010, and has started reaching over 5,000 youth in Nigeria to assist young people detect their passions, and direct their energies towards relevant, purpose-driven careers. In South Africa, RLabs, is taking a similar approach among youth in the most underserved communities and seeing results, with more than 20,000 jobs created since 200955. Marlon Parker, its founder, similarly credits discovery of personal purpose as one of the key ingredients for this success. “If we are able to get youth to start feeling that sense of purpose and mission, immediate things will take care of itself,” he describes. “I’ve seen it over and over again, in urban areas to very rural areas, in slums, I’ve seen it everywhere. The minute you get young people to kick into purpose,
something happens to them. [...] We must get young people to start focusing on and realize the end goal of life is not about a job.â€? Social innovators are seeking to close the gap in post-education unemployment by ensuring young people are equipped with two types of education as must-haves, instead of as â€œnice-to haves:â€? a. Guide discovery of personal purpose b. Support holistic health needs
Esther Eshiet presents guidance on career selection. Photo: Berry Dakara
a Guide Discovery of Personal Purpose Cited interchangeably with creating a sense of belonging, the benefits of guiding young people through a discovery of their own personal purpose before they make decisions about their career have been observed by social innovators to be many: guidance enables young people to be more self-confident and to consider their future and make better decisions regarding it. For youth livelihoods in particular, alignment between passion and personal skills ensures that young people are more driven as future employees and find greater success in self-employment ventures. Youth become more agile and able to apply for a variety of potential job or entrepreneurial opportunities because they learned transferable skills instead of focusing all their energy on a single career or job.
Benefits to Youth for Discovering Purpose
Character Benefits Discovery of self-purpose develops: Sense of belonging Self-confidence Future orientation Better long-term decision-making Pursuit of skills based on understanding of passion
Livelihood Benefits Purpose-driven youth have: reater likelihood of being compelling hires due to G improved character traits (see left) Greater job satisfaction Greater likelihood for entrepreneurial success reater likelihood for focusing on developing G transferable skills that withstand changes in job markets
22 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Examples of social innovators who root their approaches in discovery of personal purpose include:
Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY) Fredrick Ouko Kenya ANDY prepares youth with disabilities to play an active role in the workforce and in reshaping the leadership structure of Kenya. Youth are supported to identify their passion around which they develop a relevant skill set. Partnering companies develop all-inclusive cultures that ensure people with disabilities can contribute. Since 2009, 60% of completed internships have lead to permanent employment1.
Future Farmers Judy Stuart South Africa Through intentionally recruiting black youth for farming management training, Judy is breaking historical barriers of segregation and stimulating farming interest in rural youth. Future Farmers guides youth to choose a sub-field and offers a 2-3 year local apprenticeship followed by a 1-year overseas internship. Over 90 interns have completed the program per year, with 70% of graduates successfully placing as farm managers2.
IkamvaYouth Joy Olivier South Africa IkamvaYouth prepares youth for national exams and careers. Active in nine townships, the program includes mentorship, career workshops and exposure to diverse post-school opportunities, helping youth make the connection between academic achievement and accomplishing their dreams. Since 2004, more than 1,370 students have been reached, with an annual graduation rate of 85%3. Additionally, 77% have gone on to higher education, internships, or jobs within 2.5 months of graduation4.
Young Africa Dorien Beurskens Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Netherlands Young Africa provides vocational education and training to young people across five countries by establishing centers that are both youth learning spaces and business hubs for entrepreneurs. Life skills education is core to building studentsâ€™ self-esteem, sense of purpose and sense of responsibility for themselves and their communities. Since 1998, more than 29,000 youth have been trained; 83% of graduates are economically active, 32% of these are self-employed5.
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 23
b Support Holistic Health Needs In addition to promoting the discovery of personal purpose among youth, social innovators have also deliberately found creative ways to ensure that the holistic needs—from physical and mental to financial and social health—of young people are met without promoting a culture of dependency. Examples of innovators addressing physical, mental, financial, and social health through holistic education for youth employment success include:
Physical Health: Social innovators promote physical health by incorporating programming or offering resources that address nutrition, fitness, and sexual health. For overall fitness, the teachers at Ndagani Children Centre, an early childhood development school near Chuka, Kenya, lead a review of the child’s health, nutrition, and home environment with a child status index (CSI) for each household established through open dialogue. The Ndagani Children Centre is not the only one recognizing the importance of holistic education. Actonville Primary School (South Africa), hosts events, such as dance competitions and cycle challenges, which students take the lead in organizing and supervision. Equal Education (South Africa) organizes campaigns to address material inequality of schools such as access to electricity and water (in addition to other needs like libraries and computer centers) and Africa Yoga Project (East Africa) teaches young people techniques for overall wellness - and how to run their own wellness businesses. For sexual health, Ndagani Children Centre (Kenya) has incorporated discussions on HIV/AIDS with the children through counseling and puppetry while Young Africa vocational and entrepreneurship centers (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Namibia) offers informational workshops for teenagers. or nutrition, RLabs (South Africa) provides a currenF cy to youth to ensure access to food and healthcare.
Mental Health Social innovators incorporate meditation and deliberately nurture empathy as a means of creating better focus, relationships, and classroom performance.
incorporates Transcendental Meditation twice a day as a part of its university curriculum, as a result of research studies demonstrating higher pass rates, reduction of ADHD, and a myriad61 of other overall intelligence and health benefits.
Financial Health: Social innovators are offering income generating activities, access to currency and access to supplies to ensure young people focus on their studies and trainings. n offering income, Young Volunteers for the O Environment (Togo) ensures youth can advocate for environmental causes while earning an income in related fields, Students at Young Africa centers (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, and Namibia) receive access to micro-loans when they are ready to leverage their entrepreneurial education for running their own businesses, and Umthombo Development Foundation (South Africa) offers medical scholarships in return for service at rural hospitals On offering currency or access to supplies, Kairos School of Inquiry, South Africa for primary school students has also established its own currency in which the children use to initiate mini-businesses with each other, an idea created by the learners themselves.
Social Health: Social innovators are creating safe spaces to ensure young people have the opportunity to receive additional support that assists them to form healthy social relationships. Pinelands North Primary School (South Africa), students struggling with socialization are offered the opportunity for animal caretaking as a way to build their comfort towards participating at school, pupils are encouraged to document and celebrate observations of other students doing good for others. Young Africa (Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, and Namibia) has established community libraries at their vocational centers, where students can have a supportive environment to study for exams in the evening.
On meditation, the Maharishi Institute (South Africa)
24 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Perspective: Why Purpose and Holistic Needs Matter for Youth Employment
On Sense of Purpose:
“From my own experience, I didn’t want to read books when I was hungry. I hated them. Clear, practical experiences have shown us what taking people out of the hunger trap can do. It is at the root of many of the problems that we see. Every child must have the nutrients they need to reach their maximum potential.” Jude Ohanele, Nigeria. The Results: Through Development Dynamics in Nigeria and engagement of youth, Jude has reached over 24,700 farming households with better access to nutritious foods as a result of introducing methods to increase agricultural yields62.
“We’ve realized that jobs are not enough. It’s not giving people jobs or money that solves social issues. It’s giving people jobs that have a strong ethical fiber and a strong sense of purpose, passion, community, and civic engagement63,” Paige Ellison, Africa Yoga Project The Results: over 200 youth have been directly employed since 2007 and a further 6,000 people are reached weekly in 80 locations across Africa to build the holistic health needed to secure employment64. Africa Yoga Project is also training students in over 13 other countries including imbabwe, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Ghana65.
Africa Yoga Project
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 25
Redefine What Counts as a “Good” Job
Students at Young Africa centers learn while apprenticing at entrepreneurial hubs, challenging perceptions that vocational training leads to low-status jobs or prevents the pursuit of higher education.
mployers and job-seekers across the continent are struggling with an employment mismatch at unprecedented proportions. Adetoun Adewolu-Ogwo, founder of the National Career Centers of Nigeria, experienced this firsthand when she was given the responsibility to hire new employees at one of her first jobs at a beverage company in Nigeria. She posted an advertisement about an opening for 15 management trainees and her company received over 96,000 applications. “96,000! It was a tipping point for me,“ she describes. “I knew there was a disconnect somewhere, because these people met the basic application criteria,” but were all struggling to find jobs.
26 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Redefining Work and Jobs
Current youth assumptions
New mindsets promoted by social innovators
Steady, salaried desk job
Multiple careers likely; entrepreneurship or informal jobs can be steady, respectable options
Established, respected fields such as banking, accounting, medicine, or government roles are best
Alternative industries such as wellness, rural healthcare, textiles, and climate change consulting are in-demand and desirable
Urban is preferred
Rural is also a place where careers thrive through agriculture or vocational careers, and also leverage high-tech
Academic credentials will convince employers
Employers are convinced through demonstrated problem-solving and team experiences
This pivotal experience inspired Adetoun to launch the National Career Centers of Nigeria, joining other social entrepreneurs tackling the youth unemployment crisis by shifting the mindset of young people on what options they have to be successful. There are three major mindset shifts social entrepreneurs like Adetoun are promoting: elevate informal jobs as viable and respected livelihoods a. leverage alternative industries b. shift from jobs to entrepreneurship.
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 27
a Elevate “Informal” Jobs as Viable, Respected Livelihoods On any given day in a major African city, you’ll see young people hustling—they are delivering goods on pushcarts, driving motorcycle taxis, or hawking in traffic. But if you ask many of those young people what they do for work, they might (and often do) reply that they are unemployed. The reality is that some of the most essential jobs are the least valued66. Social entrepreneurs are creating ways to elevate the role of jobs that are usually disparaged, even if essential, in any African community—particularly informal and manual jobs. To bring greater ease and recognition to young people involved this kind of work, innovators are creating mechanisms to allow them to operate more successfully, including:
Radio Shacks and Village Technicians Make Energy Innovation Possible Abubaker Musuuza is working to build a network of last mile technicians in rural villages whose services build confidence in clean energy products that would otherwise go unused. Using the existing networks of village handymen, Abu is training and certifying rural youth and electricians to deliver repairs, parts and new product sales, the best of which become Village Energy franchisees.
Village Energy Uganda | villageenergyuganda.com | est. 2009
KEY STATS • Over 4,000 solar technologies in off-grid communities sold • Over 10 youth-run franchises seeded • Over 50 youth trained in and 43 employed67
Mobile, Social Referrals Create Steady Income Opportunities Duma Works is a mobile career building platform that enables anyone who is un(der)employed to leverage basic phones to be matched with job opportunities, resulting in steadier income on informal jobs such as transportation, or access to formal employment. Algorithms and a social referral network activate an SMS alert and invitation to further sector-specific skills tests. Top-performing candidates are recommended to employers.
Duma Works Kenya | dumaworks.com | est. 2012
KEY STATS • 2,510 job matches • 250 companies and 60,000 users • 10 days: average time companies take to hire68
28 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Affordable, Hands-On, Entrepreneurial: Vocational Training Redesigned Dorien Beurskens is challenging perceptions that vocational training leads to low-status jobs or prevents the pursuit of higher education. Through Young Africa, she has developed an affordable way to provide vocational education and insights. Training centers double as business hubs for entrepreneurs in the community – with the centers’ spaces, equipment and brand rented to local entrepreneurs who, in turn, train students in their respective fields.
Young Africa Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Bostwana, Zambia, Netherlands | youngafrica.org | est. 1998
KEY STATS • More than 29,000 youths have been trained • 8 3% of graduates are economically active • 32% of graduates are self-employed69
b Leverage Alternative Industries The conventional mindset on “good” jobs is that young people are expected to search for employment in traditionally stable and established sectors like finance, government, law, or marketing. Social entrepreneurs are identifying industries where skills are currently scarce, but opportunities are ripe, and are building demand and pathways for youth to participate in these options as recognized and respected jobs. Examples of new pathways towards livelihoods being popularized specifically for youth include:
Wellness Industry Paige Elenson is training unemployed young people from the most under-resourced communities in East Africa to be yoga instructors and to run their own yoga-businesses in recognition of a rising market in Africa. Wellness is a fast growing industry with over US$3.4 trillion70 in global economic impact, three times more than the global pharmaceutical industry.
Africa Yoga Project Kenya with students from 13 countries including South Africa, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Rwanda | africayogaproject.org est. 2007
KEY STATS • Recently launched new Wellness Academy • 100 small business owners receive trained and employed71 • 300 free classes provided to over 6,000 people in over 80 locations including schools, hospitals, homes and prisons72
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 29
Maternal Health Industry Alain Nteff is inspiring youth to leverage technology to solve health challenged. He founded GiftedMom to prevent infant and maternal deaths by delivering critical health information to pregnant women and new mothers via mobile technology. The service uses SMS and voices messaging to deliver stage-based and customized notifications for pregnant women and new mothers.
Gifted Mom Cameroon, Nigeria | giftedmom.org | est. 2013
KEY STATS • 20% increase in antenatal attendance in 15 rural communities • 1 200 pregnant women and mothers engaged • Growing from a pre-revenue of $3000 in 2015 to a projected revenue $150,000 in 201673
Agricultural Entrepreneurship Joseph Macharia is elevating the role of farming as a viable career alternative to formal employment by highlighting young people engaged in entrepreneurial agricultural activities and crowdsourcing best practices through radio, Facebook, Twitter, and an SMS feedback system, with youth-led guidance, ranging from rabbit farming to mushroom farming, hydroponics and even aquaponics.
Mkulima Young Kenya | mkulimayoung.com | est. 2012
KEY STATS • 90,000 facebook followers and 20,000 twitter followers regularly engaging with learning resources • launched online platform for farmers to reach more buyers
Textile Industry At the age of 18, Ellen Chilemba founded Tiwale to ensure young women have access to a range of services for entrepreneurial success: business education, microfinance, vocational skills training, and guidance on entering into ripe markets which they typically did not have access to, such as textile businesses. Ellen noticed that even though Malawi was one of the largest producers of cotton74 in Southern Africa, locals struggled to source local textiles75 .
Gifted Mom Malawi | tiwale.org | Est. 2012
KEY STATS • taught entrepreneurship skills to 150 women • aided 40 women to start their own businesses through micro-loans76
30 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Climate Change Prevention Industry Verengai Mabika is nurturing a generation of young people informed and energized to advocate for environmental sustainability. He founded a Climate Change Virtual School that offers a diploma, a Social Innovation Fund to launch actionable community-based solutions, “Cool Clubs” in secondary schools to stimulate student engagement in community-based efforts, and a knowledge hub to exchange best practices on preventing or preparing for climate change.
Development Reality Institute Zimbabwe, with students from 32 African countries | driafrica.org Est. 2009
KEY STATS • 2,000 students annually from 32 African countries
Expanding Workplace Inclusion Social innovators are creating pathways for inclusion across five groups that would otherwise be marginalized or consistently underrepresented. They craft programs that are deliberately aimed at reaching these groups, offer the skills and experiences to ensure they can have successful livelihoods, and create partnerships to build demand from employers.
Criminal Record Vickie Wambura is reducing the rate of recidivism in Kenya’s prisons by focusing on rehabilitation and shifting society’s negative prejudices and stereotypes about prisoners. She has pioneered the first entrepreneurship curriculum for prisoners and created partnerships to offer literacy skills, computer skills training, and mental health services. I n recognition of Nafiska’s leadership in improving Kenya’s prisons capacity to reform prisoners, the government has recently given Vickie the license to operate and scale her model to all of Kenya’s 107 prisons77. As she gears up to take her work to national scale, Vickie has identified six regions across the country that have a concentration of universities she can leverage to access talent as she gives university students handson experience as trainers and mentors.
Ability Hill Preparatory School in Uganda was founded approximately 26 years ago, with the deliberate practice of incorporating children with special needs into the school program and cultivating empathy amongst peers. ith 235 students, the primary school has enabled access and educational inteW gration for learning disabled students, ensuring they have the foundations to build successful careers later on in life.
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 31
Gender As a young girl Regina Honu dreamed of building a rocket but was discouraged by her teachers because she was a girl. Nevertheless, Regina continued to excel in school and went on to create Tech Needs Girls, with the goal of having women and girls in Ghana at the forefront of technology development. 3,500 girls have been trained through Regina’s program and she has expanded the initiative to Burkina Faso78 .
Out of School Learners By creating a one-month STEM curriculum, with classes for three hours a day, Jonathan Mativo is making ICT training accessible to those who are out of school and cannot commit to the six to nine-month college curriculum in unlikely places such as in prisons or rural communities without access to electricity. ince 2009, ICT for Development Kenya has trained over 30,000 individuals to date79, S with youth leveraging the experience to obtain formal employment out of the training program.
Race and Ethnicity Judy Stuart created Future Farmers when she recognized that there was a lack of sustainable employment opportunities and training in commercial agriculture for rural black farmers - otherwise historically discriminated against due to the South African apartheid regime. By providing youth with training and an international apprenticeship in their field of interest, the program trained 60 Future Farmers 80 in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa in just two years since its founding.
c Shift from “Jobs” to Entrepreneurship New, viable industries often emerge from the entrepreneurialism inherent in informal sector activities. Likewise, because they learn to be flexible about their working conditions depending on their own goals or interests, the youth easily adapt to changing definitions of work. Encouraging and supporting young people to consider entrepreneurship as the source of successful livelihoods is another central part of redefining work and jobs. To make the shift towards entrepreneurship as a normative path for young people, social innovators are incorporating opportunities to launch initiatives as a part of educational training, and many are creating supportive ecosystems that offer opportunities to access finance, mentorship, facilities, and collaborative teams. Examples include:
32 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Advocacy for Uganda-Wide Entrepreneurship Curriculum and Youth Clubs Irene Mutumba has established a nationwide network of Young Entrepreneurs Clubs that offer mentorship, financial education, entrepreneurial training, and support for members to run their own business projects in primary as well as secondary schools. As a result, she provided support to a national plan for inclusion of mainstream entrepreneurship education and financial literacy into the Ugandan school curriculum.
Private Education Development Network Uganda | pedn.org | est. 2014
KEY STATS • reaching 503,279 youth with nine programs in over 313 schools • creating a “curriculum of entrepreneurship” for the formal education system nationwide81
Advocacy for South-Africa-Wide Entrepreneurship Curriculum and Country’s First Free University Taddy Blecher founded Maharishi Institute as the first university to provide free, high-quality business education to young people throughout South Africa. It offers tangible skills in computing and business management and generates work opportunities for students and is consulting with the national government on how to incorporate entrepreneurship as a part of the national curriculum.
Maharishi Institute South Africa | maharishiinstitute.org | est. 2007
KEY STATS • 650 students in Joburg and Durban • 98% job placement rate82
Francophone-Africa Tech Startup Movement Inspired by the global open source movement and traditional cultural emphasis on interdependence, Karim Sy launched Jokkolabs, which are online and offline co-working spaces for young African entrepreneurs. Active in 4 countries, young people join together and access professional support in order to collaborate – rather than compete – to create new businesses and help solve the countries’ toughest problems.
Jokkolabs Mali, Burkina Faso, France, Senegal, Benin, Gambia, Cameroon, Morocco, Ivory Coast | jokkokids.jokkolabs.net | est. 2010
KEY STATS • 12 self-sustaining co-working spaces • 700 members • More than 600 companies launched83
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 33
The Big Power of Small-Farming Enterprises Salim Dara is shifting agricultural education away from a theory approach to hands-on approach, ensuring students can launch self-sustaining enterprises. The curriculum and demonstration farm teach youth how to be sustainable with smaller capital or land needs than is usually taught (.5-1 ha), and how to be integrative – simultaneously leveraging produce, livestock, fish farming, and an attached market – all within a small land area.
Solidarité Rurale Benin | est. 1988
KEY STATS • Curricula partnerships with West Africa’s leading agro-economic vocational institution, Songhai Center, and two Benin universities • More than 600 people visit the center each year to follow this model84
The Big Power of Small Farming The integrated farming model demonstrates how it is possible to achieve self sufficiency starting with just half to one hectare or approximately a quarter to one half of a football pitch (.4 ha = 1 acre). The model, implemented by Salim Dara in Senegal via Solidarié Rurale, inspires youth about the possibilities of farming with both limited space and funding. Farmers can begin by investing in one component of the model, before earning the funds needed to incorporate the additional elements into their farm.
Start by investing in one type of livestock, such as a chickens.
The excess feed from the chicken coup trickles downward into the pond and feeds the fish. The pond can be created with cement if needed.
Utilize the fish excrement and livestock manure as fertilizer for the garden, which produces vegetables, such as tomatoes and lettuce.
The excess eggs, fish, and poultry are sold at the market and serve as additional income for the farmer.
34 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Revive Intergenerational Teamwork
Celebrating the end of the school year: at IkamvaYouth, a youth center with locations in nine South African townships, improved graduation and employment rates are made possible by graduates who return to mentor current learners.
itting amongst the elders at council meetings by the Thembu community in 1930s South Africa, it wouldnâ€™t have been unusual to see a young Madiba Nelson Mandela joining in as a part of the council, years before his coming of age ceremony at age 1685,86.
equipped for job or entrepreneurial opportunities. These create deliberate reasons for individuals from different generations form sustained relationships and collaborate together, with the explicit intention of supporting the younger generation to be more successful in securing their own livelihoods and wellbeing.
It was at these intergenerational gatherings that one of the greatest statesmen of our generation credits his first lessons on arbitration, governance, and leadership. It provided the type of training experience, confidence building, and successive transfer of responsibility essential for effective leadership.
a. establish decision making pathways
Social entrepreneurs are creating new intergenerational structures in order to ensure youth are better
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 35
Structures for establishing intergenerational support include:
b. create cross-grade family units c. incentivize mentorship programs d. facilitate learning circles
a Establish Decision-Making Pathways Decision-making pathways are one way of mobilizing significantly greater parent engagement in schools. In this method, parents are offered opportunities to make meaningful decisions about students’ education. For example, Equal Education in South Africa, founded by Doron Isaacs, facilitates a youth-led movement to transform the quality of schools and has already engaged over 200,000 youths within five years of its founding87 leading to a number of campaigns that have resulted in significant change. Successes to date have included the pass rate in the township of Khayelitsha improving from 50% in 2009 to almost 70% in 2012 and the successful creation of the Bookery Project to address the critical shortage of libraries, with over 21 fully functional school libraries opened and staffed by previously unemployed learners 88 . A core part of the approach, involves organizing parents through dedicated workshops and trainings, as well as including them at every level of the decision-making process that leads to the selection and execution of the evidence-based campaigns or projects. Similarly, at Kitante Hill Secondary School, parents are active in the school as a result of being invited to be a formal part of the school’s administration.
b Create Cross-Grade Family Units Cross-grade family units are an approach where small-groups of students from multiple grades are created. They are structured in a way that ensures older students are motivated to serve as role models and strengthen their own knowledge as a result of coaching younger students, and those younger students receive additional support and guidance from relatable youth that influence them to make better decisions. For example, at Sun Valley Primary School in South Africa, specific students are designated “Hoofies”, which stands for “Head Of Our Families”. During a student’s entire school life, he or she joins a “family” of learners made up of one student from each grade (from 1 to 7) that meets every two weeks to build their relationship as a family and to support each other in all matters related to both their school and personal lives. The visits continue voluntarily and students in high school still continue to connect with the family of learners at Sun Valley. Similarly, at Imhoff Waldorf School, in South Africa, the school regularly organizes Work Parties: parents, children and their teachers meet on a Saturday to do any maintenance or gardening. The students either participate in a Work Party for each class or, from time to time, hold a single, shared work party to enhance the whole school. This is further supported through the establishment of a family buddy system across grades, that also performs regular community service at a the school’s farm. This structure not only ensures better outcomes for students in the long run, but also nurtures critical workplace and entrepreneurial skills such as empathy, teamwork and pro-activeness.
c Incentivize Mentorship Programs While mentorship programs are nothing new, ensuring there is greater participation is a consistent challenge. Innovators are making mentorship more attractive to participate in by offering incentives such as course credit or networking events for potential employment. For example, IkamvaYouth in South Africa are working with University of the Free State and Durban University of Technology to award course credits and waive registration fees to incentivize committed student volunteerism. Similarly, Tech Needs Girls in Ghana has partnered with four local universities to build female Information and Communications Technology (ICT) clubs which then serve as mentors and volunteers for ICT training for younger girls. The volunteers help teach the courses and each girl in the program is assigned a mentor from the local university who is either studying coding or works in the ICT field. In return, every mentor is invited to participate in networking sessions and connected to job and internship opportunities. Both cite mentorship by older generations as a critical component to the success of the youth engaged: for IkamvaYouth, since, 2004, more than 1,370 students have gone through IkamvaYouth’s program, with annual graduation rate of over 85% 89. 77% of them have gone on to higher education, internships, or jobs within 2.5 months of graduation 90. While Tech Needs Girls is in earlier stages with 500 girls completing the ICT curriculum between 2012-14 91 , it is continuing to expand to other areas throughout West Africa, building an ICT curriculum for young girls and creating a new generation of girls who are not just users but developers of technology.
d Facilitate Learning Circles Learning Circles require one generation of students to transfer their learnings to subsequent generations. For example, at the Maharishi Institute students are required to visit their hometowns during the break and host learning circles for other students. And a unique scholarship program is also instrumental for creating intergenerational
36 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
rapport. Students are funded by a revolving scholarship fund, whereas graduates are asked to payback scholarships that they received once they have secured their own jobs -and at a very manageable rate (R600 per month, interest-free for 7-10 years). Thus, every student graduates with a continued connection to graduates that have gone before them, as well as a commitment to supporting the generation that comes after them. The founding organisation of the Maharishi Institute, the Community and Individual Development Association, has educated over 15,250 unemployed South Africans and assisted them to move from poverty to the middle-class – and remarkably – through a virtually fully-funded educational experience 92. 98% of graduates have been placed in employment, 32% of which are entrepreneurs93 . Similarly, at MOMI Africa in Nigeria, students in the latest entrepreneurial training program are responsible for recruiting and mentoring the next cohort of young people that next will receive seed funding to launch their own ventures. In this self-replicating model, youth are challenged to be socially responsible, financially literate leaders who work as a team to improve their livelihoods; and at Uganda Rural Development & Training Program (URDT) Primary School, through the annual “Back Home” program, every student student sits with their parents at the end of the school year to create a changemaking project at the household level and a plan to share skills with neighbors to implement together during the holidays.
Barrier: Culture of “Waithood” In the best case scenario presented by the World Bank, “Africa will need at least two decades to change the structure of employment sufficiently to offer dramatically different prospects to its youth.” What their scenario does not factor in is the persistent problem of waithood, or “waiting for adulthood.” A common problem cited by the Ashoka innovation network, “waithood” is a period of suspension during which young people are no longer children, but have not transitioned into being adults. This exclusion from adulthood, lasting for a decade and more of a young person’s life, contributes additional cultural and institutional barriers to complicated politico-economic situations. In an essay on waithood94, Professor Alcinda Honwana says, “In southern Mozambique, in the past, becoming a labor migrant in South Africa constituted a rite of passage into adulthood, as jobs in the South African mines helped young Mozambicans become husbands, fathers, and providers for their families and, in turn, allowed young women to become wives, mothers, and homemakers.” She adds, “Today, however, African societies do not offer reliable pathways to adulthood; traditional ways of making this transition have broken down, and new ways of attaining adult status are yet to be developed. In West Africa, the vernacular term “youthman” is used in many countries to describe those who are stuck in this liminal position95.” As a reaction to waithood, there have been several instances of youth throughout Africa challenging the social structure through social media engagement, protests, and staged riots, such as:
2010 Youth stage riots in Maputo, Mozambique over price hikes 2011 Youth express discontent with unemployment and corruption in Tunisia 2011 Y’en a Marre activists protest around disapproval of constitutional amendments in Dakar, Senegal Honwana says that, “By taking to the streets united and braving police, some youth movements have been able to overthrow dictatorships, vote out corrupt leaders, and force governments to reverse unpopular decisions. Yet, despite their successful protests, young Mozambicans have not seen fundamental changes in their socioeconomic conditions; young Senegalese are growing disappointed with the new government; and for a long time young Tunisians remained deeply dissatisfied with the direction and slow pace of the transition96”.
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 37
Youth through Equal Education support community members at a picket for the deadline of implementing Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure at parliament in South Africa. Photo: Equal Education
Don’t Just Serve Youth, Trust Youth to Lead
Young people taking part in the MOMI Africa curriculum form cohorts around a particular vocation that interests the entire group - and then co-create their own curriculum, tailoring the training to their specific interests and geographical context.
hootings and flying petrol bombs turned Mitchells Plain in Cape Town, South Africa, into a war zone for a week in late March 201597. Buses and taxis refused to enter the township started by the apartheid government in the 1970s. Eric Coetzee, a community leader, describes his neighborhood as “a world of gangs, violence, and poverty.” When he was young, Eric joined a gang for safety. But the story changed when he started as a student at RLabs. “I finally found the place where I fit in. I don’t have fear anymore,” Eric says. With the long-term goal of giving students sustainable employment, RLabs provides young people with a safe space in Cape Town to learn skills ranging from project and event management to coding and photography. After going through the program, which intentionally fosters self-sufficiency and hope in the power of each young person to contribute, approximately 80% of graduates find employment with both the hard and soft skills developed through the program. The defining factor, according to Eric? “This community believes in the power of youth; youth teaching other youth. We are giving youth the tools to change themselves as well as their communities.”
as “problems” needing to be fixed, instead, trusting youth to co-lead by ensuring they have the opportunity to make real decisions, have their voices heard consistently, and make meaningful contributions to their communities while receiving the right level of support and guidance from adults. RLabs founder Marlon Parker credits this approach as how “it is possible to get a young person in a short space of time from being someone that says ‘Oh, my needs are not being met,’ complaining and not knowing what to do,” to instead, “getting [them] to a place where they could see they are now contributing to society.” There is no easy switch to enable more effective youth leadership. But social innovators have demonstrated four interrelated components needed to enable youth to lead: a. c reating meaningful youth leadership roles, b. ensuring that there are adults as champions providing the type of guidance, support, and partnership that make this leadership possible and creating the right degree of adult accessibility that would ensure youth are not derailed due to a lack of guidance or failure to address holistic needs, c. o ffering the type of experiential learning that ensures they are learning marketable, life-long skills.
Social innovators across the continent are leading foundational shifts away from mindsets that see youth
38 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
a Create Youth
The way RLabs’ “Reconstructed Living Labs” provide a space where young people are trusted in leadership roles is by empowering them to lead their own learning agenda. They are asked to utilize software design skills they gain from classes to come up with IT innovations that address social challenges present in their communities. Young people—often former program participants—also lead workshops and events on topics chosen by participants around relevant issues like unemployment, drug abuse, robberies, gangs, teenage pregnancies and alcohol abuse. Participants are empowered to think critically and learn together on issues that inform their learning; they not only gain accredited certification, but also learn creativity skills that move beyond computer literacy. The results are striking: almost 80% of 300-400 annual graduates from the academy find employment in the IT sector and beyond 98 . As of 2014, RLabs and the IT innovations designed in its incubators created 20,000 jobs (directly and indirectly), by addressing social challenges through 22 IT-powered enterprises and 185 RLabs-inspired business products99. At IkamvaYouth, trusting youth to lead is also essential to its work to enable young people to pull themselves and one another out of poverty. Active in 14 South African townships, since 2004 IkamvaYouth has had more than 1,100 students graduate from their after-school support and mentorship program, with annual graduation rate at 80-100%100. Over the past five years, 89% of alumni of them have gone on to higher education, internships, or jobs101 . A key ingredient of IkamvaYouth’s model is the promotion of a culture of peer learning. Teaching is driven by student inquiry and stronger performing learners assist those who are struggling. Their solution for long-term sustainability? Graduates return to the program as volunteer tutors.
b Position Adult Champions and Ensure Accessibility
Model Mission of Assistance (MOMI Africa), founded by Theresa Michael, is similarly leveraging youth leadership techniques to explicitly reverse the unemployment rate of youth in Nigeria, which is estimated at 38% for young people102 and over 45% of each university graduating class103 . MOMI Africa also creates an environment where learners don’t play a passive role; instead they are offered the leadership to actively decide what they will study. Young people identify a vocation of choice based on their interests and research they will conduct about the market. After that MOMI Africa provides the platform where supportive peer cohorts can be formed for each vocational field.
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 39
Importantly, young people work closely with adults to identify experts who can train them and offer guidance as they create socially responsible business plans for a venture through which they will practice the vocation they are learning. The youth then receive seed funding to support the venture, which they need to pay back in 2 years. The vocation-focused cohorts are responsible for their learning and for recruiting the next generation of learners. Some of the vocations include vegetable farming, information and communications technology (including specialties in photography and videography), auto repair, crop and animal farming, agro-allied value chain enterprise, and fashion design (including specialties in sewing, modeling, mannequin production, patterns, and fashion editing). While MOMI-Africa’s results thus far are still in early stage, the 2015 targets included 250 cohorts and 7,500 young people in over six Nigerian states104 . This pattern is explored in depth under Innovation Opportunity #5: Reviving Intergenerational Teamwork.
c Facilitate Experiential Learning
As a student in Benin preparing to graduate and pursue agriculture, Salim Dara’s career was brought to a brutal halt when his participation in student strikes for fair treatment of students in 1979, led to his imprisonment for more than five years. He emerged, still determined to pursue agriculture, and convinced of the importance of demonstrating the ability to succeed no matter how small the chances of beginning a businesses. His goal, he described, is “to show the young people that they don’t have to wait anybody to succeed in life” and to inspire them first hand. “you have to show by your own way that it can succeed before people come and take it.” Salim has established a demonstration farm to show young how it is possible to achieve self sufficiency starting both limited space and funding - and to expand in stages to a larger farming operations that generate greater profits (figure l). He has established curricula partnerships with West Africa’s leading agro-economic vocational institution, Songhai Center, and two Benin universities to ensure that practical, hands-on training is emphasized in addition to the traditional theoretical approach to teaching. Engaging youth through hands-on experiential learning ensures that what they are learning is truly relevant to market and community needs and sparks their discovery of how they want to contribute to the world as professionals. For a full exploration of examples demonstrating how experiential learning experiences are created and the type of impact they yield, see Innovation Opportunity #2, Designing Classrooms Beyond Walls: Ensuring Young People Rapidly Skill-Up through Community Problem Solving.
Framework for Transformative Youth Leadership The following four interrelated components are common across social innovators’ models that excel at achieving employment and entrepreneurship outcomes and are explicitly designed to trust youth to lead.
YOUTH YOUTH YOUTH LEADERSHIP LEADERSHIP LEADERSHIP ROLES ROLES ROLES Youth leadership must move beyond young people being given token positions. Being youth ambassadors and sitting on boards, for instance, are good positions to have, but the most effective Youth Leadership Roles create opportunities for youth to make real decisions such as on resources, strategy, and policies, have their voices heard consistently, and engage as active and meaningful contributors to their communities. One common approach to making this possible: cross-generational or peer-to-peer teams that work together to solve concrete issues.
ADULT ADULT ADULT CHAMPIONS CHAMPIONS CHAMPIONS
EXPERIENTIAL EXPERIENTIAL EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING LEARNING LEARNING
Being an effective Adult Champion is a delicate dance. Youth need to be given supportive structures without having their independence crushed, guidance that isn’t just lectures, and encouragement to explore new careers without feeling forced. Adult Champions are those who carefully craft opportunities for youth to practice leadership, trust them with responsibility, and expect and welcome youth’s mistakes as teachable moments.
It’s the new, old way of learning: experience. Experiential Learning brings education to life by providing real-world opportunities and handson projects. It ensures that what youth are learning is truly relevant to market and community needs, and that it sparks youth’s discovery of how they want to contribute to the world as professionals. The best types of experiential learning opportunities are also designed to accommodate additional support to underperforming students and adjust for differing levels of learning.
ADULT ADULT ADULT APPROACHABILITY APPROACHABILITY APPROACHABILITY If you’re not speaking the language of passion and energy, you’re not speaking the language of the youth. Cultural relevancy, emotional literacy, flexible timing, and energetic engagement are all needed for adults to be truly accessible to youth. Accessibility does not have to mean one adult that meets all these needs nor do adults have to be on call 24/7, but it does mean that youth feel comfortable engaging adults at the times that they are struggling the most, and especially when they are struggling with non-academic pressures.
40 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
Youth Trusted to Lead: Examples Across Every Age Group Early Education ganda Rural Development U & Training Program (URDT) Girls Primary School, Uganda - students identify issues to tackle outside of school, develop action plans to work on during the holidays and define accountability. olid Base Private Schools, S Nigeria - A parliament is led by a new student speaker each year. Students participate in decision making, including in how their school runs as a whole. I mhoff Waldorf School, South Africa - students manage the schoolâ€™s 100% solar power-run energy system. airos School of Inquiry, K Southern Africa - students utilize a school currency, Kairosses, to initiate minibusinesses with each other, an idea created by the learners themselves.
Secondary Education Equal Education, South Africa - High school students have a leading role in research-based advocacy for education reforms. ool Clubs, Zimbabwe C Students in two schools in each of ten provinces design, launch, and operate community-based responses to environmental problems, including incomegenerating opportunities. OMI (Model Mission M Assistance) Africa, Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana,Gabon, and Cape Verde - organizes young people into cohorts around a particular vocation that interests the entire group. Group members work with the organization to design their curriculum, tailoring the training to their interests and geographical context.
Higher Education aharishi Institute, South M Africa - students manage the campus, mentor younger students, and provide support
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 41
services to the community, including teaching. 2 020 Microclinics Initiative, Kenya - trains and employs youth to provide technical support in health clinics, aiming to ensure the health system operates at 90% optimal levels.
Out of School or PostGraduate Youth Africa Yoga Project, Kenya - identify and enroll the communities for health classes and facilitate classes within contributes to each studentâ€™s 200-hour requirement, and is a powerful way to develop leadership skills among students to prepare for their launch as independent professionals. Village Energy, Uganda - youth are trained as solar technicians and supported to set up their own businesses to boost access, affordability, and trust in solar energy via a retail shop network to fix and sell solar products in rural Uganda.
42 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
LOOKING AHEAD Five years ago we set out to find social innovators who were solving a problem threatening to paralyze and hinder Africa’s economic and social development. We saw an alarming number of young people unable to find steady waged labor or contribute productively in the economies of their countries. Our preliminary scans of the field of youth employment showed that there was a disconnect between the systemic barriers that prevented young people from finding meaningful career paths and the interventions of many of the standard approaches. The narrative about who was to blame for the so-called crisis masked some of the real roots of the problem like long-standing cultural and societal expectations of younf people that plunged them into long periods of waithood and the narrow definitions of work that halted many young people from exploring new career pathways. Our learnings from the first five years signal that realistic and positive change for youth is on the horizon in Africa.
Recognizing that the work has only begun to scratch the surface of what is possible for young people, here is what we know is working to improve youth livelihoods and leadership:
A recognition that young people can and should have a greater seat at the table. Even when the implementation of policies fail to miss the mark, it is encouraging that there are progressive youth policies in many African countries. For the social innovations featured here, the shift in attitude about the role youth can play in their own opportunities correlates directly to their ability to be prepared for the workplace of today.
T he resolution of intergenerational rifts to promote collaboration across age groups. Inadequate resources for mentorship and apprenticeship is a common theme at conferences and workshops focused on young people in Africa. The assumption is that either young people aren’t receptive to the advice and experience of their elders or there are not enough appropriate and willing mentors to ensure that youth are guided well. What we know is that the rift between the generations runs deeper. In places where waithood is socially sanctioned and young people feel like they are being systematically excluded from accessing opportunities due only to their age, unspoken tensions persist. Innovations like those which include “pay-it-forward” models ensure that the practice of exclusion is halted.
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 43
edefining what it means to have a “good” job in Africa. Our work around the issues of what are good R industries, what makes a good job, and who is qualified for certain sectors has been the most nuanced of all. Rightfully so, a lot has been done in the promotion of agripreneurship and agribusiness on a continent that still boasts a rural majority, but other social innovators are quick to see market opportunities everywhere. Either they are helping to formalize jobs in the informal sector and maximizing the inherent entrepreneurialism within or they are helping to forge new fields entirely for young people -- from the wellness industry to careers around climate change. The future of work in Africa is no longer the same narrow set of options the previous generation relied on -- like government administration, legal, finance, or education jobs.
C hanging the approach of classrooms away from theory to the promotion of experiential learning. In the marketplace of today, young people are better served if they have built things, solved problems, taken leadership, and learned to work with others. This requires combining written tests with practical problem-based approaches.
C oncerted efforts to reward young people for their meaningful contributions. The time that young people spend in waithood has often been an excuse to pay them less than market rates or to merely offer small tokens in exchange for their time. Social innovators know that young people deserve to begin to earn earlier – especially when they are in short-term training programs or contributing to their communities.
evelop the whole human being and not just a part. Holistic approaches to youth development now recognize D that youth need opportunities to earn but not without requisite skills of “heart” to promote civic responsibility, personal fulfilment, and individual and community wellbeing. These approaches also tackle the stereotypes against youth -- like crime, violence, apathy, and entitlement - and help to shift toward a culture that sees young people as productive and contributing members of society.
The above approaches play a hugely important role in chipping away at a very big problem. Our own contribution as Ashoka has been to identify and support solutions, recognize patterns, convene ecosystems, and spread innovations. And over the course of five years we have achieved this through a series of interventions. We elected and provide capacity support for 25 new Ashoka Fellows, framed a challenge for young people which supported five young innovators to further develop their work, held regional ecosystem convenings to bring actors together to explore new paradigms, facilitated and mediated an online conversation featuring solutions, and held two facilitated online courses on the Future of Work. Recognizing an opportunity to build upon this work, here is the direction we want to take next:
nabling Collaboration Beyond Silos: The social innovations featured in this guide represent only a small E number of the overall interventions needed to confront big gaps in youth livelihoods, school to work transitions, and work inclusiveness across Africa. Youth’s waithood is more than a failure of education to prepare young people for the jobs that private sector companies offer today. And it is more than a failure of governments to provide great youth policies and promote youth-friendly services and economic opportunities -- we know that current policies which have been adopted by African governments are incredibly progressive. The failure is that youth interventions continue to happen in silos. When we drew together new ecosystems of actors at gathering in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Buea, Lagos, Dakar, Kampala, and Accra committed to changing how young people grow up in Africa, we continually ran into barriers like language, priorities, and a lack of central organization. Private sector actors spoke differently than youth development practitioners when addressing the same issues. Most practitioners assumed governments paid lip service to problems, but did not intend to solve them. And everyone recognized that real coalition building was outside the scope, time and resources of their current work, despite resounding desire to address issues through collective impact.
caling to Match Size of Market : The challenge remains in how to ensure that the big paradigm shifts here S are realized across the continent. As The MasterCard Foundation’s recent report Youth at Work: Building Economic Opportunities for Young People in Africa points out, there will always be a trade-off between reaching a scale to ensure that large amounts of young people are reached through interventions and supporting programs that deeply address systemic issues. This distinction between scale of service and scale of impact is an issue we constantly wrestle with. Through the work of Taddy Blecher and the Maharishi Institute we have been able to showcase numerous new approaches that address big systemic barriers for youth and how he has been able to influence both government policy and approaches to higher education in South Africa. He has also
44 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
helped private sector organizations change how and what they hire for. But against a backdrop of hundreds of millions unemployed and underemployed across the continent, his scale is a still a drop in the bucket. We have supported the scaling of these paradigm shifts by featuring innovators like Taddy in media campaigns, online community mobilization, and by targeting influencers, program implementers and policy makers through a facilitated online course. Now we must create new tools to measure the significance of these approaches in terms of deepening the interventions of practitioners across the continent.
A dvancing Policy to Implementation Stage: Network partners consistently tell us that changing policy is the ultimate goal to see big changes for youth in Africa. As noted early on, national youth policies have become ubiquitous across the continent, but the implementation of relatively progressive and highly developed policies is where the difficulty lies. Social innovator, Marlon Parker, shared with our network his advice for advancing policy to the implementation stage. By proving his model of Youth Cafes first and then showcasing how these could be of value to the government of the Western Cape, he was able to get the monetary buy-in to build more centers. Our work now is to follow his advice and help facilitate such kinds of engagements where solutions to youth livelihoods show the way to ensure dedicated buy-in by the decision makers in African government.
hifting to Rapid Feedback Loops: Too often, our efforts to measure longer-term impact get in the way of our S efforts to learn how our programs are working on a day-to-day basis. And yet, knowledge of how our programs are working—or not—are key to achieving the desired longer-term impact. In the Future Forward initiative, Ashoka has gathered feedback from its constituents on a regular basis to learn and make necessary course corrections. Key to Ashoka’s use of feedback loops is to collect feedback iteratively over time. This practice results in longitudinal data that can show change over time and whether or not its adaptation to feedback has resulted in measurable changes in opinions and behavior. Today, Ashoka is continuing to collect and use this feedback as a performance management tool for better program monitoring and evaluation.
Our interrogation of the ways that social innovators in this network have succeeded in growing young people who are creative problems solvers and inclusive leaders -- changemakers -- has told us that it is time to throw out the old playbook. Our intention is that this guide inspires youth development institutions, educators, governments, and funders to think differently about the problem of youth livelihoods and leadership. The paradigm shifts here should help to influence cultural mindsets, institutional structures, policies, and market dynamics in order to catalyze society-wide change down to the individual level. And we know that social entrepreneurs alone can not create the kinds of wide-scale country level, regional or continental shifts to permanently change the future for Africa’s youth, but the creativity, disruptive ideas, and focus on results by social innovators featured in this report offer a compelling case for hope. As Regina Honu has said, “What I want to leave for the next generation is the change in the system, whereby young people are allowed to experience their full potential. Nothing is impossible. Everything that they hope and aspire to be can be possible.”
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 45
A1. Methodology As a network of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, Ashoka has intimately explored how an entrepreneurial mindset can unlock solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Across over 75 countries and dozens of sectors, the social entrepreneurs in Ashoka’s Fellowship network are transforming complex challenges into opportunities for problem solving. They create sustainable solutions for the communities they are rooted within and find creative ways to ensure their impact spreads regionally, and even globally, to become new, widespread norms. Based on interviews and case studies of both industry experts and Ashoka Fellows, Social Innovation Mappings illustrate common patterns in how social entrepreneurs are creating and scaling positive social change. Mappings uncover patterns in the strategies that social entrepreneurs use to approach a particular social problem so that their on-the-ground insights can guide the work of other practitioners. Mappings explore the societal shifts that social entrepreneurs identity as necessary to unlock widespread social change, as well as approaches for how to ignite these shifts. This report tells the stories of effective solutions to make the case for bold optimism and to inspire a vision of a better future. It is as an invitation to re-envision what is possible, through the eyes of entrepreneurs.
Pattern-Recognition Process Ashoka’s Social Innovation Mapping begins by determining a single framing question. The question both describes the shift we hope to see around a given issue in the future, as well as the goal of the organizations and entrepreneurs whose work we include in the mapping. Next, we sift through Ashoka’s Fellow database of more than 3,000 solutions from social entrepreneurs to select those most applicable to the field. These innovators go through a rigorous process before their election to the fellowship, which includes a thorough examination of their ideas and performance. Next, we pare down the pool of solutions to those that are the most relevant and innovative to the framing question, focusing on 15-30 solutions for case-studies and interviews. Finally, we cluster them and look for patterns in how the innovators both define the problem they face, and what they do to solve it. These patterns can point to powerful ways to reframe a problem, as well as new ways of addressing it. Ultimately, this analysis reveals the “a-ha” moment of recognition, in which an entrepreneur accurately pairs a powerful idea with a compelling need. Analysis of the social innovators’ models and interviews reveals emerging patterns, and the distribution of solutions becomes apparent, showing which strategies are most commonly and most powerfully used. Additionally, this analysis can reveal areas of unmet potential that are ready for a solution.
How Social Entrepreneurs Were Chosen for Analysis in this Report This Social Innovation Mapping report is guided by the following framing question: How can innovation be used to drive greater impact and transformation in youth employment and entrepreneurship? Using this framing question as a focal point for finding cross-cutting insights, interviews and case studies were conducted of over 45 leading African social innovators in 17 countries, with an increased emphasis on models . Each was convened through the Ashoka Future Forward network, and learnings were further gathered through engagement and listening sessions among a broader network of leaders at youth serving organizations spanning 43 of the 54 African countries (Fig. A-C).
46 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
The Strengths and Limitations of Social Innovation Mapping
How Social Entrepreneurs are Selected as Fellows by Ashoka
The mapping approach is designed to offer a social entrepreneur’s view of the world by focusing on common patterns across solutions. Social entrepreneurs design solutions that address the thorniest aspect of effecting change: human interactions in a system. Analyzing their solutions can predict and show ways to circumvent behavioral barriers to change as well as unlock lasting, systemic transformation.
Ashoka is the world’s largest association of leading social entrepreneurs, with more than 3,000 Fellows worldwide. After reviewing an initial pool of more than 10,000 candidates annually, Ashoka elects approximately 150 to 200 of the most promising candidates as Ashoka Fellows.
Mapping allows successful solutions to be examined in context with one another. The mapping shows how ideas relate to one another, as well as highlights the core elements of a problem. The result is the emergence of clear patterns: Which aspects of a problem are as of yet unaddressed? Are some strategies underutilized or overutilized? Is there an aspect of a problem that has yet to be named? Are there holes in the system that await the design of a new solution?
In order to be elected a Fellow, each candidate undergoes an extensive interview process with Ashoka leadership and global sector experts.
Lastly, mapping provides the blueprint for deriving a theory of change at a systems level. The patterns and insights revealed by Social Innovation Mapping can lead to the development of a strategy that integrates a mix of solutions, which can lead to an overall increase in energy and resources applied to the problem. While any theory of change is subjective, this contextual mapping allows for a holistic approach to problem solving. The mapping does not, however, offer a representative sample due to the small size of case studies selected relative to the number of social innovators, and there is a tendency for particularly advanced, holistic approaches to be relied on more heavily as examples to illustrate multiple themes. This is, in part, because of the strength of the impact that can be cited to illustrate the effectiveness of the approach, and, in part, because of the eloquence of the founder at an advanced stage who is more likely to be used to publically speaking about their model. The case studies are also limited due to relying on impact statistics that are largely self-reported. The ethical fiber of the founders is a deliberate criteria scrutinized through multiple rounds of interviews and thus the impact statistics are considered reliable, but we do still aim to cite external impact studies where possible. Lastly, the mapping methodology is also limited due to relying primarily on case studies that have been given an award by the Ashoka network. This due to resource constraints requiring a more limited scoping of the case studies, the amount of diversity of examples already accessible within the Ashoka network, and the explicit goal of partnerships to leverage insights from Ashoka’s network. We seek to mitigate the potential for self-selection bias by ensuring the members of the network are chosen by are non-Ashoka staff who are experts in the relevant regions and fields in which the social innovators are elected, and by having multiple, independent rounds of site visits and interviews.
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 47
Each Ashoka Fellow must meet the following five criteria: 1. New Idea: The work of a Fellow must be genuinely unique, with the potential to cause disruptive systems change. 2. S ocial Impact: A Fellow’s idea must have clear social impact on a national, regional, or even global scale. It must address the deep, systemic problems facing society. 3. Creativity: A Fellow must creatively approach a situation, devise unique solutions to overcome obstacles, and build networks and partnerships for success. 4. Entrepreneurial Quality: A Fellow must be passionate and dedicated to his or her work. He or she will not rest until the social problem is completely resolved. 5. E thical Fiber: A Fellow must act ethically, and have a high level of integrity and commitment to the social cause. Through a rigorous, five-step, global process, each entrepreneur is thoroughly vetted for his or her character and capability to create systemic change. The process is long but fruitful. In fact, many candidates describe the selection procedure as one of the most difficult but enlightening experiences of their careers. Candidates must communicate their ideas, scrutinize their methods, and reflect on themselves as individuals. Ashoka then provides stipends to allow Fellows the financial flexibility to fully dedicate themselves to their new ideas, and it offers a lifetime of engagement with a network of peers.
A2. References 1. Honwana, Alcinda Manuel and Filip De. Boeck. Makers & Breakers: Children & Youth in Postcolonial Africa. Oxford: James Currey, 2005. Print. 2. Abbink, Jon, and Ineke Kessel. Vanguard or Vandals: Youth, Politics and Conflict in Africa (African Dynamics). N.p.: n.p., 2005. Print. 3. Amare, Tighisti. “Africa’s High Youth Unemployment: Is Population to Blame?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 11 July 2014. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. www.theguardian. com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/jul/11/africa-youth-unemployment-population-growth. 4. Agbor, Julius, Olumide Taiwo, and Jessica Smith. “Sub-Saharan Africa’s Youth Bulge: A Demographic Dividend or Disaster?” Foresight Africa. The Brookings Institution, n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. www.brookings.edu/ wp content/uploads/2016/06/01_youth_ bulge_agbor_taiwo_smith.pdf. 5. Organisation For Economic Co-Operation And Development: Development Centre. African Economic Outlook 2016: Sustainable Cities and Structural Transformation. S.l.: Organization For Economic, 2016. African Economic Outlook. African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2016. Web. 7 Sept. 2016. www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/en/. 6. “Recognizing Africa’s Informal Sector.” African Development Bank. African Development Bank Group, 27 Mar. 2013. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. www.afdb.org/en/blogs/afdb-championing-inclusive-growth-across-africa/post/ recognizing-africas-informal-sector-11645/.
Smith. “Sub-Saharan Africa’s Youth Bulge: A Demographic Dividend or Disaster?” Foresight Africa. The Brookings Institution, n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. www.brookings.edu/ wp-content/uploads/2016/06/01_youth_ bulge_agbor_taiwo_smith.pdf. 14. Organisation For Economic Co-Operation And Development: Development Centre. African Economic Outlook 2016: Sustainable Cities and Structural Transformation. S.l.: Organization For Economic, 2016. African Economic Outlook. African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2016. Web. 7 Sept. 2016. www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/en/. 15. “Recognizing Africa’s Informal Sector.” African Development Bank. African Development Bank Group, 27 Mar. 2013. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. www.afdb.org/en/blogs/afdb-championing-inclusive-growth-across-africa/post/ recognizing-africas-informal-sector-11645/. 16. “South Africa: Stop Blaming the ‘Skills Gap’ for the Unemployment Crisis in South Africa.” All Africa. The South African Civil Society Information Service, n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. allafrica.com/stories/201408071852.html.
13. Agbor, Julius, Olumide Taiwo, and Jessica
29. Sommers, Marc. Stuck: Rwandan Youth and the Struggle for Adulthood. N.p.: n.p., 2012. Print. 30. Sommers, Marc. Stuck: Rwandan youth and the struggle for adulthood. University of Georgia Press, 2012. 31. Honwana, Alcinda Manuel., and Filip De. Boeck. Makers & Breakers: Children & Youth in Postcolonial Africa. Oxford: James Currey, 2005. Print. 32. Abbink, Jon, and Ineke Kessel. Vanguard or Vandals: Youth, Politics and Conflict in Africa (African Dynamics). N.p.: n.p., 2005. Print.
34. Muthaka, David, and Mwangi S. Kimenyi. “Bangla-Pesa: Slum Currency and Implications for the Poor in Developing Countries.” Brookings. Brookings Institution, 29 Nov. -0001. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2013/07/17/ bangla-pesa-slum-currency-and-implications-for-the-poor-in-developing-countries/.
20. Warutere, Peter. “Statement from the World Bank on Kenya Youth Empowerment Project.” The World Bank. The World Bank Group, 25 Oct. 2011. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. www.worldbank.org/en/ news/press-release/2011/10/25/statement-world-bank-kenya-youth-empowerment-project.
12. Akande, Tunji. “Youth Unemployment in Nigeria: A Situation Analysis.” Brookings. Brookings Institution, 29 Nov. -0001. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. www.brookings.edu/blog/ africa-in-focus/2014/09/23/youth-unemployment-in-nigeria-a-situation-analysis/.
28. Abbink, Jon, and Ineke Kessel. Vanguard or Vandals: Youth, Politics and Conflict in Africa (African Dynamics). N.p.: n.p., 2005. Print.
18. “Africa: Youth Facts.” YouthPolicy.org. Youth Policy, 2009. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. www. youthpolicy.org/mappings/regionalyouthscenes/africa/facts/
8. “Promoting Youth Employment.” African Economic Outlook (2012): 96-107. Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. www.cpahq.org/cpahq/ cpadocs/Promoting%20Youth%20Employment.pdf.
27. Honwana, Alcinda Manuel., and Filip De. Boeck. Makers & Breakers: Children & Youth in Postcolonial Africa. Oxford: James Currey, 2005. Print.
33. Honwana, Alcinda. “Youth, Waithood, and Protest Movements in Africa.” African Arguments. N.p., 12 Aug. 2013. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. africanarguments.org/2013/08/12/ youth-waithood-and-protest-movements-in-africa-by-alcinda-honwana/.
19. Ministry of Youth Affairs. 2006. Auckland: National Research Bureau, 2007. Government of Kenya, 2006. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.www.youthpolicy.org/national/Kenya_2006_National_Youth_Policy.pdf
10. World Bank. Unemployment, youth total (% of total labor force ages 15-24). 2016. Raw data. Washington, D.C. data.worldbank.org/ indicator/SL.UEM.1524.ZS
17. “Promoting Youth Employment.” African Economic Outlook (2012): 96-107. Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. www.cpahq.org/cpahq/ cpadocs/Promoting%20Youth%20Employment.pdf.
7. ”South Africa: Stop Blaming the ‘Skills Gap’ for the Unemployment Crisis in South Africa.” All Africa. The South African Civil Society Information Service, n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. allafrica.com/stories/201408071852.html.
9. Amare, Tighisti. “Africa’s High Youth Unemployment: Is Population to Blame?” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 11 July 2014. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. www.theguardian. com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/jul/11/africa-youth-unemployment-population-growth.
org/people/board-members/michelle-gavin. 25. Gavin, Michelle. “Africa’s Restless Youth.” Current History (2007): 220-26. Web. www. cfr.org/content/publications/attachments/ Current%20History.pdf.
21. Majiwa, Moreen. “Kazi Kwa Vijana Scandal.” Mzalendo. N.p., 28 Oct. 2011. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. www.mzalendo.com/ blog/2011/10/28/1462/. 22. Farrell, Lynsey Deanne. “Hustling NGOs: Coming of Age in Kibera Slum, Nairobi, Kenya.” Diss. Boston U, 2015. Farrell, Lynsey. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. open.bu.edu/handle/2144/14009. 23. Gyimah-Brempong, Kwabena, and Mwangi S. Kimenyi. Youth Policy and the Future of African Development. Working paper no. 9. Brookings Institution, Apr. 2013. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. www.brookings.edu/wp-content/ uploads/2016/06/04_youth_policy_african_development_kimenyi.pdf. 24. “Michelle Gavin.” Points of Light. N.p., 14 Jan. 2016. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. www.pointsoflight.
35. “Marlon Parker.” Ashoka Africa Fellows, Ashoka Innovators for the Public, 2014. africa.ashoka.org/fellows/marlon-parker 36. RLabs. “Making HOPE Contagious.” RLabs, 2015, rlabs.org. 37. Farrell, Lynsey Deanne. Hustling NGOs: Coming of age in Kibera slum, Nairobi, Kenya. Diss. Boston University, 2015. 38. “Moka Hoffman Lantum”, Ashoka Africa Fellows, Ashoka Innovators for the Public, 2014 39. “Sena Alouka”, Ashoka Africa Fellows, Ashoka Innovators for the Public, 2014. 40. Umthombo Youth Development Foundation. “Umthombo Youth Development Foundation 2015-16 Annual Report.” Latest News, https://www.dropbox.com/s/k923mgsp09flp1r/annual%20report%202016. pdf?dl=0. 41. “Regina Agyare”, Ashoka Africa Fellows, Ashoka Innovators for the Public, 2014. 42. “ICT for Development Kenya.” Changemakers, Ashoka, www.changemakers.com/ discussions/entries/ict-development-kenya. 43. Ibid.
48 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
44. Young Africa. “Annual Report 2015 - Young Africa.” Young Africa, 2016. drive.google. com/file/d/0b6j5dt8zsh5lug5eew5onhf5vdg/view. 45. Umthombo Youth Development Foundation. “Umthombo Youth Development Foundation 2015-16 Annual Report.” Latest News. www. dropbox.com/s/k923mgsp09flp1r/annual%20report%202016.pdf?dl=0.
Africa Yoga Project, 22 Apr. 2014. www. africayogaproject.org/blogs/africayogaprojectblog/13841081-africa-yoga-project-kicks-off-2nd-annual-200-hr-teacher-training. 66. Farrell, Lynsey Deanne. Hustling NGOs: Coming of age in Kibera slum, Nairobi, Kenya. Diss. Boston University, 2015.
46. Rahman, Reem, and Salim Dara. “Salim Dara Interview.” Nov. 2014.
67. Musuuza, Abu. “Village Energy Progress.” Received by Lynsey Farrell, Village Energy Progress, 1 Feb. 2016.
47. Rahman, Reem, and Latif Mbengue. “Latif Mbengue Interview.” 18 Feb. 2015.
68. “DUMAWORKS.” DUMA : HOME, 2016. dumaworks.com.
69. Penterman, Annelies. “Young Africa - Milestones.” Young Africa, 2016. youngafrica. org/milestones.
49. “Enactus | Senegal.” Enactus, 2016. enactus. org/country/senegal/. 50. “About the Institute.” The Institute, Maharishi Institute, 2010. maharishiinstitute.org/ the-institute/about-the-institute. 51. “Taddy Blecher”. Fellow Profiles, Ashoka, 2012. 52. Ibid. 53. Penterman, Annelies. “Young Africa - Milestones.” Young Africa, 2016, youngafrica. org/milestones. 54. British Council 2014, 7. www.britishcouncil. org/sites/default/files/graduate_employability_in_ssa_final-web.pdf 55. “Marlon Parker.” Ashoka Africa Fellows, Ashoka Innovators for the Public, 2014. africa.ashoka.org/fellows/marlon-parker. 56. “Action Network for the Disabled (ANDY).” Changemakers. Ashoka. www.changemakers.com/node306408/entries/action-network-disabled-andy. 57. “Future Farmers.” Changemakers. Ashoka. www.changemakers.com/node306408/ entries/future-farmers. 58. “Joy Olivier.” Ashoka Africa, 2013. africa. ashoka.org/fellows/joy-olivier. 59. “Our Impact.”IkamvaYouth, 2010. ikamvayouth.org/about/our-impact. 60. “Dorien Beurskens.” Ashoka Fellow, Ashoka. www.ashoka.org/en/fellow/dorien-beurskens. 61. “Why TM?” Maharishi Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. maharishiinstitute.org/ consciousness/why-tm/. 62. “Jude Ohanele.” Ashoka Africa, 2012, africa. ashoka.org/fellows/jude-ohanele. 63. Macklin, Karin. “Q&A with Paige Elenson: Yoga Teacher + Founder of the Africa Yoga Project.” Yoga Journal. Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., 6 Jan. 2015. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. www. yogajournal.com/article/africa/qa-paige-elenson-yoga-teacher-founder-africa-yoga-project/. 64. Chen, Adeline, and Nosmot Gbadamosi. “The Man Who Beat a Drug Addiction with Yoga.” CNN. Cable News Network, 9 June 2016. Web. 07 Sept. 2016. www. cnn.com/2016/06/09/africa/kenya-yoga-james-njuguna/. 65. Sadia, Billy. “Africa Yoga Project Kicks off 2nd Annual 200 Hour Teacher Training.”
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 49
70. “Statistics & Facts.” Global Wellness Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. www. globalwellnessinstitute.org/press-room/ statistics-and-facts/. 71. “Home.” Africa Yoga Project. www.africayogaproject.org/. 72. Chen, Adeline, and Nosmot Gbadamosi. “The Man Who Beat a Drug Addiction with Yoga.” CNN. Cable News Network, 9 June 2016. Web. 07 Sept. 2016. www. cnn.com/2016/06/09/africa/kenya-yoga-james-njuguna/. 73. Celebrating Africa’s Youngest Entrepreneurs | Alain Nteff.” Anzisha Prize. N.p., 2014. Web. 16 Sept. 2016. www.anzishaprize.org/fellows/nteff-alain, 74. AECOM International Development. Southern Africa’s Cotton, Textile and Apparel Sector: A Value Chain Analysis. Tech. Southern African Trade Hub, Dec. 2011. Web. 6 Sept. 2016. www.satradehub.org/images/stories/downloads/pdf/technical_reports/Technical%20 Report%20-%20Textile%20Cotton%20 and%20Clothing%20Value%20Chain%20 Analysis.pdf. 75. Kandiero, Caroline. “Malawi Textile Industry Gets New US Agoa Boost.” BNL Times. N.p., 26 Aug. 2013. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. timesmediamw.com/malawi-textile-industry-getsnew-us-agoa-boost/. 76. “Tiwale Community Based Organization.” Changemakers. www.changemakers.com/ discussions/entries/tiwale-community-based-organization. 77. “Vickie Wambura Wamonje”. Fellow Profiles, Ashoka-Innovators for the public. 78. “Soronko Solutions”. Changemakers. Ashoka. 2014. < https://www.changemakers. com/node306408/entries/soronko-solutions. 79. “ICT for Development Kenya.” Changemakers, Ashoka, www.changemakers.com/ discussions/entries/ict-development-kenya. 80. “Judy Rae Stuart.” Ashoka Africa. www. ashoka.org/fellow/judy-rae-stuart. 81. Private Education Development Network. About PEDN. March 31, 2013. < http://www. pedn.org/ index.php/who-we-are/overview. html. 82. Townsend, John. “The Story Behind the Entrepreneur Who Opened South Africa’s First
Free University.” Changemakers. N.p., 26 May 2016. Web. 08 Sept. 2016. www.changemakers.com/futureforward/blog/story-behind-entrepreneur-who-opened-south-africas. 83. “Homepage”. Jokkolabs . 2014. jokkolabs. net/en/#jokkolabs. 84. Rahman, Reem, and Salim Dara. “Salim Dara Interview.” Nov. 2014. 85. Coyle, Maurice, ed. Nelson Mandela’s Leadership Lessons. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Pub. as FTPress, 2010. Print. 86. Mandela, Nelson, Kader Asmal, David Chidester, and Wilmot James Godfrey.In His Own Words. New York, NY: Little, Brown, 2003. Print. 87. “Doron Isaacs”. Fellow Profiles, Ashoka, 2013. www.ashoka.org/en/fellow/ doron-isaacs. 88. Ibid. 89. “Our Impact.”IkamvaYouth, 2010. ikamvayouth.org/about/our-impact. 90. Ibid. 91. “Soronko Solutions.” Changemakers, Ashoka, 2014. www.changemakers.com/ node306408/entries/soronko-solutions. 92. “MAHARISHI INSTITUTE.” Changemakers, Ashoka, https://www.changemakers.com/ stories/maharishi-institute. 93. Ibid. 94. 27 Honwana, Alcinda Manuel., and Filip De. Boeck. Makers & Breakers: Children & Youth in Postcolonial Africa. Oxford: James Currey, 2005. Print. 95. Ibid. 96. Ibid. 97. Dolley, Caryn. “Mitchells Plain Area Become ‘war zone’” IOL. N.p., 28 Mar. 2015. Web. 06 Sept. 2016. www.iol.co.za/news/crimecourts/mitchells-plain-area-become-warzone-1838325. 98. Belachew, Tsega, Craig Dumont, and Clinton Liederman. “Rabs Site Visit Interviews.” Nov. 2014. 99. “RLabs.” Changemakers, Ashoka, www. changemakers.com/node306408/entries/ rlabs. 100.“Our Impact.”IkamvaYouth, 2010. ikamvayouth.org/about/our-impact. 101. Ibid. 102. “Theresa Michael”. Fellow Profile, Changemakers, 2013. 103. Guardian Nigeria. “45 Percent Of Nigerian Graduates Unemployed: Survey.”Sahara Reporters, 25 Jan. 2016, http://saharareporters.com/2016/01/25/45-percent-nigerian-graduates-unemployed-survey. 104. Ibid.
A3. Case Studies The main sources of analysis for this report included case studies and select interviews of the following 45 social innovators across 17 countries. They included: Organization
Founding Social Entrepreneur (if relevant)
2020 Microclinics Initiative
Hoffman B. Moka Lantum
Action Network for the Disabled
Fredrick Ouko Alucheli
Adetoun A. Adewolu-Ogwo
Africa Yoga Project
Kenya with students from 13 countries including Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Ghana
24-25, 29, 41
After School Peer Mentoring Project
Esther Eshiet Sunday
Development Reality Institute
Zimbabwe, students in 32 countries
Arielle Sandor, Christine Blauvelt
Mouhamed Abdou Latif Mbengue
24, 36-37, 41
First Preferred Innovators
Jude Ejike Obodo
Judy Rae Stuart
21, 23, 32
Actonville Primary School, South Africa Aferschool Graduate Development Limited (AGDC)
Gayaza High School Gifted Mom
Gueirgo School Hope Builders International
Mathias Bodam Yashim
ICT for Development Kenya
Jonathan Mwongela Mativo
23, 35-36, 39
Imhoff Waldorf School
18, 36, 41
Mali, Burkina Faso, France, Senegal, Benin, Gambia, Cameroon, Morocco, Ivory Coast
Kagaani Day Secondary School, Kenya
Kairos School of Inquiry - Southern Africa
15, 24, 41
Kibera Girls Soccer Academy
Kitante Hill Secondary School
4, 17, 19, 24, 33, 36-37, 44-45
Joseph Kimunge Macharia
Model Mission of Assistance in Africa
Theresa Uchechukwu Michael
Vickie Wambura Kairo
Ndagani Children Centre
Pinelands North Primary School
Senegalese Bilingual Language Schools
Solid Base Private Schools
18, 34, 39
Ghana, Burkina Faso
4-5, 14-15, 32, 45
Sun Valley Primary School
The Private Education Development Network
Tiwale Community Based Organization
Uganda Rural Development School
17-18, 37, 41
Umthombo Youth Development Foundation
15, 18, 24
4, 28, 41
Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Bostwana, Zambia, Netherlands
18-20, 23-24, 26, 29
Young Volunteers for the Environment
Togo, with a network across 25 African Countries
Zenzeleni School of Creative Education
50 // YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E
A4. List of Figures FIGURE A Map: Future Forward Innovation Network in Africa FIGURE B Future Forward Innovation Network by Sub-Region FIGURE C Future Forward Innovators in Focus: Sectorally Diverse FIGURE D Six Paradigm Shifts for Transforming Youth Employment and Leadership FIGURE E Zlto” Currency : How it Works FIGURE F Sustainability Model in Focus: “Pay it Forward” Scholarships FIGURE G Sustainability Model in Focus: Young Africa FIGURE H Benefits to Youth for Discovering Purpose FIGURE I Perspective: Why Purpose and Holistic Needs Matter for Youth Employment FIGURE J Redefining Work and Jobs FIGURE K Expanding Workplace Inclusion FIGURE L The Big Power of Small Farming (Integrated Farming) FIGURE M Barrier: Culture of “Waithood” FIGURE N Framework for Transformative Youth Leadership FIGURE O Youth Trusted to Lead: Examples Across Every Age Group
A5.Self-Evaluation How Well Do You Develop Youth Leaders? What does your approach to youth say about how well you champion and nurture them towards success? Visit Changemakers.com/FutureForward for a short self-assessment (5 – 10 minutes) that shows how your organization compares to leaders in youth development and to view your personalized results in four areas:
YOUTH YOUTH YOUTH LEADERSHIP YOUTH LEADERSHIP LEADERSHIP LEADERSHIP ROLES ROLES ROLES ROLES
ADULT ADULT ADULT ADULT CHAMPIONS CHAMPIONS CHAMPIONS CHAMPIONS
YOUTH UNSTUCK: SO CIAL IN N OVATIO N G UID E // 51
EXPERIENTIAL EXPERIENTIAL EXPERIENTIAL EXPERIENTIAL ADULT ADULT ADULT ADULT LEARNING LEARNING LEARNING LEARNING APPROACHABILITY APPROACHABILITY APPROACHABILITY APPROACHABILITY
A6. Acknowledgements Authored By: Reem Rahman and Dr. Lynsey Farrell Contributions By: Tsega Belachew, Ifeyinwa Egwaoje, Limbani Phiri, Agostine Ndungâ€™u, Ndeye Binta Houma, Raisa Aziz, Amy Badiani, Tangut Degfay, Jim Wilson, Alexandra Wilson, Nomzana Augustin, Fabiano Tresbach, Madeleine Brazil
Ashoka is grateful to The MasterCard Foundation for its support that made this report possible.
Additional Feedback and Support Provided By: Ashoka Staff: Beverly Schwartz, Pape Samb, Hiwot Asfaw, Sobel Ngom, Sharon Wekete, Vincente Otieno Odhiambo, Josephine Nzerem, Adaoha Onyebuchi, Peris Wakesho, Ndeye Binta Houma, Tchanlandjou Kpare External Partners: African Leadership Academy: Margaret Meagher, Grace Kalish, Nicole Gwindi; Legatum Center - Kwadwo Poku, Elizabeth Henry; IkamvaYouth: Zoe Mann, FundiBots - Solomon King; Life College - Pat Pillai; Maharishi Institute - Sello Kgosimore; R-Labs - Jodi Biggs, Craig Jephta, Craig Dumont, Clinton Liederman; MasterCard Foundation - Koffi Assouan; Africa Changemakers Network: Andrew Otemba, Asantewaa Lo-liyongm Gabila Neba, Juanita Naidoo, Suki Annan, Topsie Egbetokun,William Senyo
ÂŠ 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Published on Mar 10, 2017
Published on Mar 10, 2017
This report focuses on the approaches of leading social innovators and entrepreneurs who are leading the way to create systemic change in th...