Empowering Youth for Positive Change: World Youth Skills Day 2019
World Youth Skills Day was created in 2014 by the United Nations to both highlight and bring awareness to the importance of global access to education by young people as they begin entering the workplace. With the working-age population of Sub-Saharan Africa expected to double in the next thirty years, World Youth Skills Day functions as a reminder of the importance that vocational and technical training, higher education, and leadership-based programs have on young people and their communities.
While many young people around the world have the motivation to create innovative solutions to worldwide challenges, many lack the critical skills needed to fulfill their visions. Leadership programs for youth like Asante Africa Foundation’s Leadership and Innovation Incubator Program (LEI) bridge this gap by focusing on the key areas of:
- Youth Empowerment
This three-year program supplements students’ education with curriculum packed with skill-based education that students will use in their own entrepreneurial and vocational futures.
One need only look to Roseline, a successful, young business owner and graduate of Asante Africa Foundation’s LEI program, to see how skill-based education can help young people thrive in the workplace. As the last-born child in a family of six, Roseline was often challenged by her own shyness and lack of self-confidence. Still, she joined the Transformers club, a center for creative leadership, at her school, where she was first introduced to the Asante Africa Foundation.
The school administration began to take note of Roseline’s increasing participation in the Transformers club and recommended that she attend the annual LEI summit in Naivasha, Kenya. Here, Roseline’s inner leader blossomed as she developed a confidence that she did not previously possess. Upon returning home, the previously shy and quiet Roseline became the manager of the Transformers club and was even elected president of her school’s student body!
The entrepreneurial skills she developed during her LEI Training lasted through her school years and into her career. Using her skills, Roseline decided that she wanted to run a business and wisely chose to start small, using her LEI training. At first, she planted a small onion farm, then used the profits to expand her farm to a full acre. Roseline continued expanding, buying chickens and eventually started a small dairy shop.
Now, Roseline devotes most of her time and energy into her business in the hopes of one day owning a milk-processing plant and becoming a supplier to large hotels. Despite being a woman from a marginalized community, Roseline challenges social expectations every day, stating that she “started the business to challenge women that they can make it in business.”
With the help of the Asante Africa Foundation’s LEI program, Roseline now has the skills she needs to expand her business and pay it forward by networking with other young women in her community in order to spread her skills, helping them to become the next generation of women in business. This World Youth Skills Day, we highlight Roseline’s story to demonstrate the necessity of skill building and empowerment for today’s youth, and tomorrow’s young successful entrepreneurs.
Written By – Marissa Chesney