SKILLED AND INVOLVED YOUTH
ChildFund India’s program life cycle is completed only when a healthy, educated child becomes a self-reliant, financially secure young adult who contributes actively to family, community and society. Our Livelihood programs strive to make youth work ready through technical and vocational training, build their life skills involving personal competencies, problem-solving and managing conflicts, effective habits, entrepreneurship, and related skills for long term success in the workplace. The goal of this program is to support youth to achieve improved economic, physical and social well-being, and become catalysts for positive change in their families, community, and country.
The context The fast changing global and national markets have created a mismatch between existing skills and skills required to avail the market opportunities. This needs corrective action to align skills of young people with the ever expanding and changing markets. Business acumen and entrepreneurship among young people is critical to generate more opportunities for gainful employment .
The key issues associated with it are Low aspirations among the youth from the tribal/disadvantaged backgrounds in terms of acquiring new skills and often follow their traditional practices, which have lately become economically unviable, presence of large number of unskilled labor in the rural sector and limited employment opportunities for youth with traditional skillsets, youth are not really aware of new skills or entrepreneurship opportunities beyond petty business, tailoring, beauty culture and basic computers, limited employment opportunities based only on academic qualifications alone, lack of entrepreneurship skills to initiate a venture, low access to seed capital for business development, and Low percentage of youth who pass the min. qualification (10th/12th) needed for skill building.
How it Works
There are three main components in ChildFund India’s Livelihood programs.
1. Life Skills Education We recognize that long term, safe, and productive employment for youth is not possible without the appropriate set of life skills to ensure that youth are free from exploitation. Before they go out and become bread earners, we help youth develop critical soft skills needed to manage complex problems in home and work environments. Psychosocial support facilitates them to understand and express emotions in ways that foster safe and fulfilling relationships.
2. Entrepreneurial & Vocational Training There are many steps to reaching the goal of sustainable and secured livelihoods. We work to:
- Alleviate immediate poverty needs of deprived, excluded and vulnerable youth through direct support
- Build the capacity of Community Collectives
- Provide support for higher education, leading to formal sector jobs
- Identify trades aligned with local market demands and impart vocational skills and training to school dropouts;
- Educate youth about their rights and entitlements, how to access the government’s social security schemes and opportunities and scholarships available to them.
In villages, ChildFund India implements special livelihood and economic enhancement programs for improving livelihoods through investment in agriculture, animal husbandry and allied sectors, and promoting Self-Help Groups, Small Savings and Credit Groups.
3. Civic engagement & Leadership Training We mobilize families, communities and local governments to support young people to come together in an appropriate space, collectively reflect on their experiences and share their opinions with others, and plot a course of action that contributes to positive change in their communities. The goal is to empower them to become next generation leaders, spokespersons for the unheard and be meaningfully involved in the betterment of their communities and society. They are involved in activities that build social and leadership skills, such as active contribution in school management, environment conservation, child protection, sports, cultural activities, quizzes & competitions, and community service among others.
We strengthen Youth Collectives, build federations and alliances, prepare youth for emergency response, and advocacy and networking.
Vocational training for girls ChildFund India assists illiterate women and girls in the community to acquire functional literacy, and vocational training. They are also given an opportunity to enhance their knowledge through advanced courses. Trained women are subsequently linked to entrepreneurship activities and helped in securing seed money or loans from banks.
Caregiver security ChildFund also helps caregivers improve their livelihood security so that they have sufficient resources to devote to their children.