Providing youth with the tools they need for success - this is the goal of ASAP’s new Tools For Empowerment (TFE) project. The project will bring hope to thousands of Haitian adolescence and provide job skills & volunteer opportunities for youth in Georgia. Plus, TFE will promote financial literacy, increase access to capital and foster cross-cultural understanding.
In Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, 55% of the population lives on less than $1 per day. Here the Salesian Missions of Don Bosco (SMDB) provides quality vocational training and education, providing skills to needy youth. Yet young job seekers too often become disillusioned. Jobs are so scarce and employers usually require workers to provide their own tools. Through a partnership with ASAP, the TFE project will provide trade tool kits to SMDB graduates so they can put their skills to work to generate income or access employment.
In Georgia, tool kits for trades such as carpentry, metalworking, plumbing and electrical will be assembled from donated new and recycled tools and equipment by volunteers and shipped to Haiti. Each tool kit will also include training materials on how to establish and manage Savings Groups (SGs), which are formalized clubs where self-selected groups meet regularly to save and lend small amounts of money among themselves. SGs are a hugely successful (over 8.4 million SG members world-wide) method for the economically active poor to access funds to operate their informal income generating activities. ASAP has been providing training in SGs since 2001, helping over 85,000 families access capital through SGs. With TFE tool kits, graduates will be able to put their newly acquired skills to use and access start-up capital to earn a living.
It’s all about recycling and refurbishing donated tools and equipment then redistributing them to young entrepreneurs who have the vocational skills but lack the tools to make use of their skills.
Thanks to those who have contributed. We are continuing the fundraising until we have at least $10,000 - to get this project going. The “Circle Our World With Love” awareness campaign is going well. We are almost at the halfway mark with over 12,000 miles dedicated to our “Tools For Empowerment” (TFE) project. People are dedicating their running, bicycling, and aerobics miles to TFE. This is mainly to develop awareness of the project but we will work to get as many of the miles sponsored later.
The TFE project is about changing lives through the donation of tools. Remember, if you enable one young entrepreneur to be productive, you are also giving a whole family a new lease on life. That young person will provide for the whole family. So by contributing $250 for a tool kit, you change the lives of 6 to 8 people in a family. That’s a nice thing to do.
If you run or bicycle, please join our campaign to “Circle our World With Love” to help us reach 24,901 miles. Every mile counts, so join the party and dedicate your miles.
Thanks for your past donations. Tools for Empowerment, ASAP's newest project, is gaining traction as we begin to look into possible workshop locations. We still need to secure funding for the startup phase of the project but things are looking optimistic. We are hoping our GlobalGiving supporters will help us move towards achieving startup funding. If you believe in self-reliance and not just handouts, you will understand the value of a complete tool kit for someone who has worked hard to learn a trade. That artisan can then utilize those skills and become a contributing participant in their Haitian community and not a burden.
ASAP will soon be starting it's second annual "Circle Our World With Love" fundraising campaign. This year it is to raise money for Tools for Empowerment tool kits to be sent to Haiti. Participants will dedicate their non-motorized activity miles between July 1st and Sept 30th, from running, bicycling, rowing, etc. Sponsors for their miles will help towards the goal. You may want to consider dedicating some of your miles this summer to a noble cause.
Please make a generous donation towards the self-reliance of Haitian entrepreneurs. Your contribution will change lives. And June 12 is the date we would love you to donate to this project because your donation will be matched by GlobalGiving. Give generously for this great project on June 12th!
ASAP has just signed an agreement with Salesian Missions to supply tool kits for their Vocational School graduates around the world. This is an important part of our plan because ASAP wants to avoid duplicating infrastructure in each country. The Salesians have requested that we start with Haiti and so that will be our initial focus instead of Nicaragua. We will do Nicaragua at a later date. In the US, donated tools will be refurbished, if needed, by volunteers, then made into tool kits and sent to Haiti for these needy artisans.
Entrepreneurs and artisans in Haiti will go from poverty to productive community members because of your support for ASAP’s Tools for Empowerment project. Thanks to the agreement with Salisian’s Missions, these Haitian artisans will be trained in their chosen skill and receive their tool kit upon graduation. Unable to buy the tools needed for employment or entrepreneurship, an ASAP tool kit makes a life-changing difference.
Vocational Skills training has been identified as the best way to give unemployed youth hope for the future and help families rise out of poverty. But skills without the tools to put that learning into practice are useless. Poor quality Chinese tools are usually what is available in most developing countries. But even these are out of the reach of most young artisans after learning their trade skills.
In partnership with the Salesian Vocational Training Center near Port-au-Prince Haiti, ASAP’s Tools for Empowerment project will provide the tools needed by graduating entrepreneurs and artisans to practice their new craft. This changes everything for them and their families by empowering them to not only survive but to thrive.
Providing the tools to help new graduates put vocational skills to use to generate income is critical in a country where there is little hope of finding formal employment. If there were any jobs, only with tools would someone be considered. And an entrepreneur will be able to prosper with their own tools of the trade. These tool kits will provide hope for the future where currently they have none. As artisans improve their skills and confidence and acquire more customers, ASAP’s Tools for Empowerment will help create future jobs.
"Acquiring a few simple tools can be a life changing event for someone working to eke out an existence for their family.”
Thanks to your support we are getting closer to our first tool kit shipment. So far we have $3,141 donated and once we have reached $10,000 we will secure a small workspace to collect and sort tool kits. At that time we will then begin to recruit volunteers to help prepare the kits for shipment. Our current plan is to work through training centers in Nicaragua and provide tool kits as requested for their needy graduates.
Many young people have managed to acquire skills from local training centers but have no way of using those skills because they cannot afford to buy tools. We at ASAP believe providing a simple but quality tool kit will change the lives of an entire family.. Usually one person is the provider for a family. That tool kit enables a son or daughter to generate income using those skills. The family will then have money for food, clothing and schooling for the youngsters.
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