Launched in 1998, Young Africa (YA) runs vocational skills training centers in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Namibia. The centers are designed to equip young students aged 15-25 with vocational and life skills that can translate into employment opportunities. Most of the students enrolled in YA’s centers have either completed their basic schooling and are in search of job opportunities or have not completed their basic education due to lack of monetary resources and are therefore looking to be gainfully employed. Looking to enroll an equal number of young men and women, YA provides hostel facilities for girls in order to encourage them to participate in its programs. YA is committed to serving the most desperate of youth populations.
YA runs a total of five centers across its countries of operation. Each center is spread out across about two acres of land and is fully equipped with facilities for vocational skills training and extra-curricular activities. Each center consists of roughly fifteen different departments that deliver more than thirty professional and industrial courses. YA rents out spaces in its centers to local entrepreneurs to conduct their own business activities as well as to impart vocational skills training. YA’s programs are therefore facilitated by entrepreneurs themselves. This model offers students with on-the-job training, and it ensures that training meets the current demand of the labor force. While the centers are built and equipped using funds from donors, they become entirely self-sufficient after a period of six years through the rent income received from local entrepreneurs. YA’s vocational skills training programs usually last 6-12 months after which students either settle into the job market or are assisted with a loan to start up their own business.
Young Africa ultimately seeks to reduce poverty and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. The program is designed with the underlying rationale that vocational and life skills training will both promote a healthy lifestyle and enable African youth to become gainfully employed and to channel their energy away from risky behavior into income-generating and potentially life-changing activities.
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CEI approaches in actionStudent supportMentorship/internship/job placementDeliveryComprehensive curriculumEthics & Values/ReligionLiteracyEnglish languageEntrepreneurship skillsInformation and Communications Technology (ICT)Art & MusicSports
Model details1998Not-for-profitVocational/technical skillsComprehensive curriculumEthics & Values/ReligionLiteracyEnglish languageEntrepreneurship skillsInformation and Communications Technology (ICT)Art & MusicSportsActiveLong-term projectHousehold funds26,50060%40%
- YA was founded in 1998 with its first center in Zimbabwe
- In 2006, YA opened its center in Epworth, Zimbabwe
- In 2007, YA opened its center in Beira, Mozambique
- In 2011, YA opened its center in Agri-Tech Dondo, Mozambique
- In 2012, YA opened its center in Kuisebmund, Namibia
- In 2015, YA opened its sixth center, in Otjiwarongo, Namibia
Since 2011, YA has expanded the type of course it offers to include agriculutre in its center in Dondo, Mozambique, and solar energy in its center in Kuisebmund, Namibia.
YA has successfully developed an affordable and replicable method for vocational training. YA is planning to expand this method in order to teach more young people employability skills and integrate them into the job market. As of early 2015, in the past 10 years, YA has trained 25,000 young people and plans to education 500,000 in the coming 10 years. To do this, it plans on upscaling its existing operations with the following:
- a YA hub in Zimbabwe for coordination of expansion and capacity building
- 10 more YA skill centers in 6 more countries
- disseminating the YA methodology to 100 NGO partner organizations
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
YA measures social & sexual (HIV testing results) outcomes and employment outcomes. YA measures both before and after results through the use of questionnaires.User satisfactionGraduation or promotion ratesEmployment ratesIncreased enrollmentCost effectiveness/value for moneyYes
83% of graduates have a job or their own business.