2 minute read

A World of Work

Overcoming barriers to getting into work

We have supported young people from some of the poorest countries to increase their knowledge and skills. From basic literacy and numeracy through to learning technical, entrepreneurial and life skills. In this way we enable young people to get jobs or start their own business in diverse markets, from information technology and engineering, to farming, textiles and construction.

In Sierra Leone, for example, over half of the adult population has no formal education. Sixty per cent of people try to get by on less than £1.50 a day. We support young people like Mohamed from the Colbolt community to change their story by creating opportunities to access the skills needed to get into work.

Key to business success is getting the right equipment to carry out your trade. This year we helped over 6,000 young people like Yusuf from West Point, Liberia, in this way.

Mohamed, aged 24, had no formal education and grew up in a very poor area. He was unable to find work and had no resources to be able to take care of his mother and two younger brothers. He completed a one-year YMCA training programme in electrical installation at Murialdo Vocational Centre, gained full time employment and is now recognised as a youth leader in his community and is an inspiration to friends and family.

“I now have full time employment at Sierra Construction Company at Wilkinson Road in the electrical department and I have gained a lot of respect in my community. I highly appreciate YMCA for according me the opportunity that resulted into this remarkable transformation of my life.”

Yusuf, aged 23, was living in one of the most densely populated slums in Liberia with his parents and eight siblings. But his home, like thousands of others, was washed out to sea by coastal erosion. Yusuf didn’t graduate from high school as his parents could no longer continue to pay for his education. He had no permanent home and with no job, was at a loose end.

Yusuf, Liberia - Photo credit: YCI
Mohammed, Sierra Leone - Photo - Caroline Irby

Yusuf enrolled on a year-long YMCA training course in tailoring and business management. He now has a shop at the front of his new home where he makes and trades his own garments. With the income from his tailoring business, Yusuf can save for the future and help his parents financially. He is also sharing his skills and experience by training three young people like himself.

“I’m proud, because I was a young person that no-one respected, and now the young people I’m training are respecting me. From the day I started to learn I always wanted to be a teacher. I would like to train more young people. It has always been a dream!”

Upper photo: Mohamed | Credit: YCI Lower photo: Yusuf | Credit: Caroline Irby, YCI