Continuing our series of articles from our Annual Report 2021/22, we outline here our work on our Youth Economic Empowerment Project (YEEP).
The Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (YEEP) is a partnership between SURF and AERG (National Student’s Association of Genocide Survivors) and GAERG (National Survivor’s Association of Graduate Students) to deliver entrepreneurship, work readiness and vocational training, and access to finance and learning resources, to empower vulnerable youth – specifically young survivors which dropped out of school and marginalised second-generation survivors – and enable them to develop secure livelihoods and sustainable incomes. In so doing, this will alleviate their poverty and improve their well-being and enable them to better independently support themselves and their households.
YEEP launched in July 2021, and will run for an initial three years, made possible through support from Clifford Chance. The key objective is to empower vulnerable young people in Rwanda through a programme of entrepreneurship, work readiness and vocational training, and access to finance, and in so doing to alleviate their poverty and improve their well-being. In so doing, the project will specifically address Target 2 of Sustainable Development Goal 1: “By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of all men, women and children of all ages living in poverty,” and Target 4 of Global Goal 3: “promote mental health and well-being”.
We understand that young people have different ambitions for their professional life. Some wish to find training and capital to start a business, whilst others would prefer to find steady employment either through a job or a trade. YEEP seeks to help principally vulnerable and marginalised young people to navigate their pathway into work – whether that is entrepreneurism, employment or a vocation. We expect that at least 2,550 young people will be enrolled in and complete one of the four training components of the programme:
- Entrepreneurship training (pathway into self-employment)
- Work readiness training (pathway into employment)
- Internship training programme (pathway into employment)
- Vocational training (pathway into employment or self-employment)
The roll-out of YEEP is progressing well with the focus this year being on Kigali City, with a plan to then scale up the activities to the Southern and Eastern Provinces in due course.