SERVE Supports Skills training for over 5000 marginalised youth
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On World Youth Skills Day, Irish Charity SERVE highlights their international contribution to Reimagine Youth Skills Post-Pandemic.
SERVE has supported over 5000 marginalised young people since 2018 in Zimbabwe and Mozambique through numerous programmes in partnership with a local partner called Young Africa. This is made possible with support from donations from the public, Irish Aid’s Civil Society Fund and other donors such as Electric Aid and Galway City Council.
SERVE has worked with Young Africa since 2008. Young Africa offers an innovative, high impact solution to youth unemployment in Southern Africa. They are based in five countries in Southern Africa.
Another aspect of SERVE’s work is the Overseas Volunteering Programme. Irish volunteers spend an average of 4 weeks in partner countries to work alongside SERVE’s partners.
Dublin based Julia Hamlinger was SERVE’s long term volunteer in Zimbabwe with Young Africa between 2019-2020. Julia explains
“I was responsible for the Monitoring & Evaluation for Young Africa International. During my year in Zimbabwe, we all had to witness Covid 19 spreading across the globe and forcing the world to shut down. These times have more than ever highlighted the importance of giving young people access to education. Even though our centres had to close, some course components were able to continue and students were reached through phone and online surveys. Additionally, an emergency programme was launched for particularly vulnerable students and community members. Unfortunately, I had limited contact with the youth due to outbreak of the pandemic, however, what I witnessed was their creativity and resilience and their interest and commitment to education and putting the ‘we’ before the ‘I’. Many of the countries in the Northern hemisphere are well on their way when it comes to a vaccination programme and are slowly easing restrictions, in Zimbabwe though, cases are higher than ever and it is our turn to show full solidarity with our partners to continue access to education, skills training and avoiding further loss of livelihoods and lives.”
Cork based SERVE Volunteer Nollaig Hulme, explains
“During my time in Young Africa Mozambique in 2018, I observed first hand the impact of skills training for the youth. It was their sure way to live a better life. The youth are extremely motivated and determined to improve their life and the work that SERVE does with Young Africa ensures that the youth can get the best shot. They had numerous skills training courses to choose from like mechanics, carpentary, dressmaking, construction and catering. As a committee member of SERVE's 'Think Global Act Local Programme', we use our overseas volunteering experience to reflect on local actions and we speak about youth skills training too. No doubt, SERVE's partners pay close attention to the needs of their students and to the developing industries. In the post pandemic era, the funding is invaluable to the future of the youth."
SERVE will work with Young Africa to begin a new programme at the end of 2021 to benefit further 5000 marginalised youth, aged 18-35yrs before 2024. This programme will reimagine youth skills post pandemic with local expertise.
You can express solidarity with youth who have been severely affected by the pandemic by donating to SERVE. www.serve.ie