STOP YOUTH POVERTY, HELP THEM CREATE JOBS
Since starting our programme to “Support 5000 Unemployed Graduates into Self-Employment”, we have been constantly reminded that job creation is the only sure answer to stopping youth poverty. The government and private sector are not creating jobs at the rate of youth employment needs in the country. The rate of graduate unemployment is now at 80,000 per year. From labour sources, the rate of youth unemployment has reached 250,000 a year (includes graduates of junior and senior high schools).
Totally Youth is convinced that the only way round youth unemployment is for the youth themselves to create jobs. For example, assisting one youth entrepreneur to start up a business, which can employ at least four additional unemployed youth, will immediately take five unemployed youth off the jobs market. Totally Youth has therefore been focusing on the principle of “Youth Creating Jobs For Youth” as the sure means of reducing youth unemployment and youth poverty.
Consequently, we designed a sub-programme to “Support 20 Youth Incubators” a year with several projects under it (Lift Urica …; Save Alice …; Lift Seth …; Help Wisdom …, etc). We are forever grateful to our donors who have supported one or more of our projects as well as our main programme. We are extremely appreciative of our recurrent donors with their regular donations throughout the year, which has earned us needed matching funds from Microsoft and Global Giving. Without your help we could not have assisted as many youth as we have done to date.
However, it has become clear that the instability of our currency – the cedi, has steadily reduced our purchasing power since prices are adjusted to meet dollar values on our local markets. Since we receive donations mostly within planned budgets, we have been unable to achieve our planned objectives for participants. For example, if we plan to buy a deep freezer this month at a given price and we get that amount next month, it is more likely that the price will have increased and therefore additional funds will be added before the purchase can be effected. This would mean that some funds will have to be redeployed from another budget line to purchase the deep freezer. This pushes us into a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” situation and limits our support to our young participants. But if there are no re-deployable funds, then the deep freezer and all activities linked to it are put on hold. Project durations are ultimately increased (e.g.: 3-month incubation stretch to six months or more reducing impact, output and outcome). To date, we have received the following donations:
We are therefore humbly appealing to our existing as well as potential donors to consider becoming “Recurrent Donors” so that we can plan more effectively and support a fixed number of youth every single year. This mode of donation will work perfectly with any of our projects as well as with our main programme. No amount is too small or too big so long as you are comfortable with it. Timeliness gives higher or the expected impact to your donations and guarantees sustainable outcomes.
Together, we can take many more youth out of poverty and reduce depression, homelessness, broken homes, drug and alcohol abuse, fraud and crime among the youth. Our joint efforts can only help towards world peace, given that most conflicts around the world involve a large number of unemployed youth. We can together reduce youth poverty, one youth start-up at a time.
We are pleased to inform you that the next Microsoft YouthSpark Fundraiser is on 26 June 2014. We are therefore humbly appealing to our donors, all benevolent people and Friends of the Youth, to support us win the highest matching fund. Please invite everybody in your corporate and social networks to donate to any of our programmes and projects. Thank you so much and God bless.
We are so grateful to our dear donors, especially our recurrent donors, who have continuously supported us ever since we first posted our programme on the Global Giving platform in 2011. You have so far provided us with US$ 7,489.00 out of the requested US$ 100,000.00 needed to support the target total of 5,000 participants. We are grateful to Global Giving for supporting us to raise this amount. We are well aware that you could have chosen to support other causes instead of poor unemployed youth in Ghana. Your contributions to our micro projects under the Lift 20 Unemployed Youth from Poverty to Jobs, brings us to an overall total of US$ 9,820. THANK YOU!
We are happy to inform you that to date we have helped many unemployed youth into jobs and start-up businesses. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate, just for graduates stands at 79,000 a year and due to the limited vacancies, job seekers stay with us much longer than expected. Fortunately, our approach to helping them is in the form of transitional internships, where they learn office management and operations; ICT for operations and management and proposal, resume and application writing. Consequently, their time spent with us gives them practical work experience which enhances their resume and their career prospects. However, the longer they stay with us, the more money we spend on a stagnant number of participants. This situation, together with our limited financial resources, limits the number of new participants we can enroll.
More importantly however, is the weakening of our purchasing power due to the constant rise in prices and the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi. This is more pronounced when prices go up just when we receive donations. Consequently, we are unable to help as many participants as we had planned within our estimated budgets.
Within the above context, your monthly recurrent donations have become our life line. Without them, our resource mobilization yields limited results, making it almost impossible to increase our intake. Our efforts to make an appreciable dent in the number of unemployed youth therefore become that much more difficult.
Currently, we have six incubators starting businesses in fashion design, event management, catering and farming and several interns. All of them are supported with office and event space, equipment, tools, laptops, Wi-Fi Internet, consumables, etc, as well as mentoring and capacity building. We know for a fact, that financial constraints are more than ever a global trend. This makes us highly appreciative of the continuing donations you make through Global Giving. We are infinitely grateful to you and Global Giving for literally putting food on the table by creating jobs for unemployed youth in Ghana and therefore supporting whole families.
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.
MAY YOU CONTINUE TO PROSPER IN PEACE AND GOOD HEALTH
Lift 20 Unemployed Youth from Poverty to Jobs Support 5000 Young Graduates To Be Self-Employed
SLOW BUT SURE – 20 YOUTH INCUBATORS A YEAR BUILDING UP
We say a very special thank-you to our recurrent donors for supporting us regularly ever since we started. We appreciate all the donations we continue to get from all our existing donors as well as the new ones. Our main programme – Support 5000 Young Graduates To Be Self-Employed, continue to receive donations and have received US$7,254.00 out of the US$100,000.00 needed, and we are sincerely grateful for that. Our Support 20 Youth Incubators a year programme has received US$ 1,420.00 out of the US$3,300.00 needed.Thank you aand keep up your good works.
We now have 13 new young entrepreneurs as well as 35 young models benefiting from our Support 20 Youth Incubators a year programme.
NANA KOFI: We have on board a group called Team Network. This is a youth TV production and talent management outfit. The team comprises 11 young graduates from senior high school. The leader is Nana Kofi, a very enterprising entrepreneur. Just last week, TY facilitated and presented at their first talent training workshop for 35 young models. For Totally Youth, this group is demonstrating the TY concept of youth-supporting-youth-into-business. We therefore hope very much that our donors will help us help this group and their clients. A donation of US$3,300 will help us help Nana Kofi achieve his dream in TV production as well as managing other young people to succeed in their careers.
CHEF SETH: We also have Chef Seth joining our Catering Center. He has joined us to build his capacity so he can set up his own restaurant in the near future. He is a qualified chef who had worked in a hotel restaurant for a short period under unfavorable conditions. TY has provided him with free accommodation on our premises since he is from out of town. This will save him transportation costs. He will be generating income while learning to ensure that he will be able to buy items toward his planned restaurant after his incubation. TY is providing him with all facilities and consumable under our revolving fund concept. Seth is getting ready to share his local and continental dishes with the North Ridge population, next week. A donation of US$3,300 will help us help Seth to achieve his dream of setting up a restaurant.
OUR URGENT APPEAL
Dear donors, with unemployment rising globally, your support is very valuable to us. We would therefore appreciate it very much, if you could also have time to advise us in new and better ways to help the hundreds of thousands unemployed youth in Ghana.
We are facing a lot of difficulties raising funds in full and on time. This means that our budgets for projects keep rising due to increases in market prices by the time we have enough money to pay for products and services. Consequently, we are unable to complete most of the requisite components of our projects to ensure maximum support to participants. This also makes it impossible for us increase the number of unemployed youth who need our support.
If we could raise the full amounts required for each of our programmes/projects on time, we will be self-sustaining within two years. We are therefore appealing for timely and recurrent donations. We know that you have the right to use your money any way you choose. Please consider the plight of the unemployed youth and support one today. Please become a recurrent donor for this project or for our flagship programme – Support 20 Youth Incubators a year. A donation of US$3,300 will help us help each of the 20 incubator to achieve their dreams and also make Totally Youth Self-Sustaining in two years. Thanks
PLEASE ACCEPT OUR UNCONDITIONAL GRATITUDE
TOTALLY YOUTH FACES ITS BIGGEST CHALLENGE yet – US$25 Million Worth!
For the years past, we have helped several start-ups to stand on their own two feet including Fashion Designers, Estate Managers, Beauty Specialists, Radio Show Producers and Presenters, Television Show Producers, Authors and Event Managers. This required a lot of investment in trust, commitment, innovation, creativity, discipline, time and funds and we managed to pull through with the support of our valuable donors.
This year, a group of four final-year students of tertiary institutions joined our Incubation Programme as budding entrepreneurs. They have now come up with an innovative modern transport business which will be the first-ever on the continent when implemented. It is also the most expensive project that Totally Youth had helped develop. The structure of this enterprise is based on the Totally Youth one-stop shop concept and will have a multifaceted pool of personnel.
The project can be implemented in one year, employ 2,845 young people over a five year period and will cost US$25,000,000.00. To qualify for a bank loan, the project is required to make a down payment of US$8,400,000.00. The business plan is ready with the requisite financial information. Based on the projections, the loan can be repaid fully with its interest within one year of operations, given the travel patterns of the routes identified. Locations, personnel, service providers and bankers have been identified and approached for requisite information and conditions.
We are now working on the financing of the down payment. Consequently, we are appealing to our valuable donors, friends, family and all benevolent friends of the youth, to help us employ 2,845 unemployed young people by helping the four young people raise the US$8,400,000.00 down payment to start their first business. Together we will also make history. Donations can be made through the "Other Amount" option on www.globalgiving.org/projects/totallyyouth. THANK YOU.
CATCHING THEM YOUNG
This third quarter we were joined by six SHS graduates. As part of our “catching them young” projects, they went through our Stepping Stones to Successful Graduation – a brand new seminar for SHS graduates and final-year students who are preparing to go to tertiary institutions. The seminar helps them towards self-motivation, application of ICT as a learning tool, ICT as a career or business choice and preparation for the world of career and business. The participants were also trained in MS Word for CV and application development and general document preparation; MS PowerPoint as a presentation tool; website development for learning, information sharing and self promotion; and Internet essentials.
We were also able to enroll four of them with a bank for possible employment if they are accepted as night students in the tertiary institutions they have applied to. All of them will have to complete 4 years of tertiary education to obtain their bachelor degrees. We are happy to announce that the two needy participants in the group obtained very high grades: one got six “A”s and two “B”s, while the other got four “A”s and four “B”s. We are appealing to all well wishers to support these two needy participants to towards their first year fees which is estimated at US$1,500.00 each. Savings from their day jobs will support them for the remaining three years. THANK YOU.
Two participants on our Internship programme have obtained jobs in local government and in construction and one incubator has set up her own beauty salon. We wish Tina, Emma and Mami good luck in their world of work and business. We were able to support Tina in applying for a Ghana Women Leadership programme and she has been accepted. We also participated in the first-ever Graduate Empowerment Cocktail, where we delivered a motivational speech and mentored graduates from the Greater Accra Region, who completed their National Service this year.
One caterer and one beautician joined our Incubation programme this month. We are also in the process of placing 10 SHS graduates on request from a company. Unfortunately, we are still turning away several needy participants because of our limited resources. This year 83,000 graduates have completed their national service and are now in the pool of unemployed graduates which is over 200,000 strong now. Our wish is to be able to assist a minimum of 1,000 unemployed youth, annually. Our current drive is to help 20 incubators: four caterers, four beauticians, four fashion designers, four ICT specialists and four ad hoc businesses a year, so they can in turn employ more unemployed graduates. Please help us meet these minimum targets. THANK YOU.
WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL TO YOU OUR DONORS AND WE SINCERELY THANK YOU.
NEW TERRAIN: Totally Youth Catches Them Young
Last year, the CEO of Totally Youth was appointed Chairperson of the National Committee on “Girls in ICT”. The “Girls in ICT Day” is an international day, celebrated globally on the fourth Thursday of April, every year. It is the brainchild of the International Telecommunications Union - ITU, under its Resolution 70 “Gender mainstreaming in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information and communication technologies”. The Girls in ICT Committee operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications, to mainstream girls in ICT.
With graduate unemployment growing each year at the rate of almost 60,000 a year and the ICT sector being the biggest employer with the highest paying jobs, Totally Youth sees the national Girls in ICT programme as a “killing two birds with one stone” opportunity. The CEO of Totally Youth therefore launched the “Girls in ICT Weekend Club” in February this year, as her “member-project”. Under the Girls ICT Weekend Club, Totally Youth trains 24 – 50 girls every fortnight free of charge, at its premises using its own facilities. By April this year, Totally Youth had trained 160 girls in “ICT as a tool for learning and rewarding career and business paths”. On 17 April 2013, under the auspices of the Ministry of Communications, these girls competed in the first-ever (globally), Girls ICT Marathon, designed by the CEO of Totally Youth. Winners received laptops, modems and mobile phones donated by sponsors.
Totally Youth is “catching graduates early”, to help reduce unemployment in the future. Through the Girls ICT Weekend Club, we can ensure that more girls will choose to study ICT, go into ICT careers or opt to set up their own ICT businesses and employ more graduates. Totally Youth believes that this is an all-round “win-win” situation: reducing unemployment, mainstreaming girls in ICT and gender mainstreaming in employment and entrepreneurship.
OLD TERRAIN: Totally Youth Welcomes Participants
Since March, we have received three incubators – a group of four young men and one young woman, to set up an ultra-modern transport business and two young women to go into the beauty sector. Three interns have also joined us to prepare for careers in the financial, agricultural and education sectors. In April, we welcomed our first volunteer-intern, who is developing her marketing skills while learning office management and ICT4 Operations. All except one, are graduates from tertiary institutions.
All participants have been provided with free office space, free access to laptops, Wi-Fi Internet, Knowledge Space. They have access to free and regular mentoring, counseling, capacity building and assistance for proposal, contract, application and resume development as well as grooming for interviews and negotiations. The two Beauticians have free access to a furnished and stocked Beauty Centre and are already generating income. The income they generate is split up into living expenses, business tools acquisition to help them set up their own beauty shops and contributions into a revolving fund for inputs. Our radio and TV project have so far been limited to discussion shows which has increased the number of calls for assistance from so many unemployed youth, some of whom we have been able to assist in different ways.
Sadly, the job market here in Ghana continues to shrink for qualified young graduates. Most new jobs are seasonal (construction, road mending, farming, etc) for which most of our participants are over-qualified. Real new vacancies are so few and far between, they can be considered negligible in terms of the number of unemployed graduates (over 210,000). All the above, puts serious constrains on the finances of parents and guardians, who are forced to continue looking after one or more graduates for several years. This trend has caused a tremendous increase in our e-mentoring programme, since most of our participants cannot afford the daily transport and meal costs to come over to our premises. Participants lose out on practical hands-on work to acquire needed work experience.
The daily cost for transport and one meal now ranges from US$5.00 to US$10.00. TY provides such support to participants based on availability of funds, thanks to the generosity of our donors. Sadly, when a participant fails to alert TY while on the premises, it costs TY twice or more to get money to such participants at home, to ensure that they can start coming over again. It has therefore become critical for TY to start its Catering Centre as soon as possible. The Centre will provide transitional employment for unemployed graduates, capacity building and subsidized meals for participants as well as regular revenue for programmes.
Consequently, our major appeal this year is to request our benevolent and generous donors to help us set up our Catering Centre, which will serve nutritious and healthy meals to TY members and the general public and ensure higher impact and sustainability of our programmes. We already have the canopy structure of our Event Space, 10 outdoor tables, 30 outdoor chairs and 50 serving bowls. We will need a minimum of US$ 25,000 for equipment, service, operations and transitional internships for participants.
One unemployed graduate affects the financial health of both parents and siblings. Therefore, your support to one participant can stop at least one home from breaking up or can fix one broken home – minimum three lives. We can therefore not thank you enough for your continuous support to unemployed young graduates through Totally Youth. We believe that your support and the plight of unemployed graduates continue to encourage others just like you, to donate what they can to this noble cause. THANK YOU.
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