Youth Empowerment & Livelihoods Improvment

300 youths’ livelihoods improved through empowering them with life-saving skills, businesses and agricultural activities.

The project shall target poor, vulnerable, unemployed youths aged between 15 and 35 in Urban slums and rural areas of Livingstone District of Southern province in Zambia. Youths affected by HIV & AIDS, Orphans and those heading households shall be considered. Targeted female youths shall be about 50 to 65% of the total target of 50 youths who shall be empowered in various life saving and entrepreneur skills, one of which is Wild life Handcrafting to be implemented in the second phase or when funds are available, because of the current high market for handcrafts due to tourists as Livingstone is a Tourist capital of Zambia. Most of the materials for handcrafting shall be wastes (recycling) thereby reducing wastes and maximizing profits from wastes lying around town. Youths empowered in the first phase and also in the second phase shall be encouraged to employ fellow youths. After life-saving skills training, youths shall be organized to help them manage their areas of support/ passion.

Project Justification
Zambia’s population is young, with 70 % consisting of youths. The majority of Zambians, especially the youths, have no jobs, have no capacity to earn a living. Many youths start participating in illicit behaviours, including petty crime and prostitution, increasing promiscuity and the rate of HIV causing increased poverty, crime and political instability. The poor state of the labour market also puts a strain on the education system. Most youths complete secondary school, but many cannot afford to proceed to college or university. Lacking a job often means lacking self-empowerment (e.g. education, livelihoods), social contact, a purpose for many hours of the day, lack of self-esteem, mental stress and illness and of course the ability to pay bills and purchase both necessities and luxuries. This is even more serious for the youth with family obligations. Increasing unemployment not only raises the crime rate, it also increases the suicide rate and encourages bad health.

The following are the project outcomes
1. Improved livelihoods of 300 youths aged 15 - 35
A detailed assessment shall be conducted which shall guide the methodology of youths selection. These shall be empowered with life-saving skills and assisted with setting up of businesses which they shall run. They shall be encouraged to employ fellow youths to reduce the unemployment burden. The trained youths shall be grouped into Credit Saving Groups which shall be given business start-up loans and these shall be supervised by GYT Youth Project Officer until their businesses are viable and stable.

2. Empowered youths in life-saving skills and business management
GYT shall engage trainers to train the selected youths. The idea is to ensure that the youths run their businesses well and effectively, and also use their skills acquired through training to earn and also provide employment to their fellow youths.

Project Activities
1. Needs & Vulnerability Assessment
2. Training 300 youths in Business Management/ Entrepreneurship & Computer Knowledge
3. Training 300 youths in life-saving skills (specialized training in chicken rearing, brick-molding, welding & fabrication, carpentry/ plumbing)
4. Meeting with Duty bearers and Development Actors over youth empowerment programs
5. Meeting with Local Authority over registration of youth business registration and business areas/space
6. Creating a network of youths

Contribution to Youth Policy (Advocacy)
Youth Empowerment Policy which is aimed at empowering Zambian youths to create a bright future to them through provision of education, life-saving skills, entrepreneurship interventions. The project through these proposed interventions will target the disadvantaged youths from Urban slums and rural areas of Livingstone, empower them with life-saving skills, some vocational training, help register their businesses, empower them with start up capital for their businesses through a revolving fund at a small interest so that the revolving fund will keep helping more number of youths every year. The project shall also engage the local authority and various stakeholders, companies and organizations for an effective reach out and youth empowerment and ensure that youths are incorporated into the employment system, entrepreneurship system and sensitize them to empower their own fellow youths and contribute to development.

The organization identifies the barriers to gender balance at family level, community level, cultural level and puts in places strategies to counter these barriers to provide balanced interventions and benefits; it is recognized that mostly girls and women are sidelined in decision making in most families and communities and hence the project shall fact in all such aspects and ensure that the targeted beneficiaries are always at least 50% females.

Targeted Youths that are
1. Orphans
2. Affected by HIV & AIDS
3. Heading households
4. Poor & unemployed
5. Physically handicapped
6. Ex-prisoners

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