Lillian's teenage years were not easy, nor was the beginning of her professional life. Her parents died of AIDS when she was eleven years old. It took a lot of strength, but she continued going to school and later graduated. Afterwards, she moved from her village in western Kenya to stay with her aunt in Nairobi to find work –without success. When she became pregnant and her partner left, she didn't know what to do – until she heard about a training programme called Skill Up! for disadvantaged young people. Today she is an electrician, standing on her own two feet and looking confidently to the future. “For all young mothers out there who don't know how they can go on, who have lost all hope, my story should give them courage and maybe open their eyes to new opportunities,” says Lillian today.
Training: key for development
According to the International Labour Organisation, 71 million young people aged between 15 and 24 are unemployed worldwide.In Africa alone, at least 150 million young people will be seeking work by 2030. Training young people and establishing labour markets in poor regions are the key to development, economic growth and the path away from hunger and poverty. In 2015, the transnational programme Skill Up! – get qualified! was launched on the initiative of Gudrun Bauer and developed as a joint initiative between the Bauer Charity gGmbH and Welthungerhilfe. The programme is currently offering 21,000 young women and men between the ages of 15 and 35 in Afghanistan, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan and Uganda the opportunity to gain professional qualifications.
Good for the economy – and self-confidence
Skill Up! gives young people the chance to generate their own income according to the principle of helping people to help themselves. The training modules are practical, tailored to needs, adapted to local conditions and are aimed at young people – especially young women – who are living in particularly difficult conditions. In addition to manual skills, trainees acquire basic business management principles and everyday skills such as accountability, assertiveness and teamwork. These so-called life skills strengthen the young people's self-confidence and help them along their professional pathways. At the same time, the programme qualifies trainers, promotes local companies, develops curricula and educational concepts and strengthens state structures so that the projects can continue independently on a long-term basis.