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.
TOTALLY YOUTH WELCOMES 2013 PARTICIPANTS
This year, Totally Youth has received over 100 phone calls from unemployed youth mostly in and around Accra, and the calls are still coming in. We have counseled and mentored over 30 of them on career choices, business development and lifestyle. We have also registered some of them in our Incubation Programme: Mami - Beautician, Emmanuel – Export Business, Richmond - Writer and our Placement Programme: Alex – journalist, Emmanuel – Trainee Teacher, Ben – Marketing, Frank –Electrician. And 10 more participants are on the waiting list for registration at the end of February 2013.
Once again, inability of participants to pay their daily return bus fare and lunch, has made it impossible for us to help most of the over 100 young people we have spoken to. Since they cannot get to our premises, they are unable to participate in our capacity building and facilitation Programmes. Furthermore, a sizeable subset cannot use our e-services (email and Skype), due to financial constraint and/or lack of access to a computer and the Internet. The mobile phone has proven useful in this situation since we can initiate the call and save them money, but it limits them to counseling and mentoring only. We are therefore looking at the feasibility of creating a radio and television programme so we can reach more unemployed youth with our capacity building programmes. We will keep you updated on our Radio and TV Project as it unfolds. We will appreciate your support and advice on this project.
On Saturday, 16 February 2013, Totally Youth organized a Girls In ICT Club workshop as its contribution to get more girls taking ICT courses and entering ICT careers and businesses. 26 girls were introduced to ICT careers and business prospects. They also had hands-on computer and Internet exercises. This workshop was done free of charge to the participants and we hope that it will encourage more girls to opt for ICT paths since there are more job openings across sectors and higher salaries. This could ensure less unemployment among girl graduates. We will not have been able to organize this workshop without your support. So together, we are now tackling youth unemployment from both ends, especially for girls.
Thank you so much for your continuing support and I hope very much that you will be joined by others this year to continue this laudable work. From our experience to date, we have no doubt whatsoever that unemployment leads directly to youth poverty, depression, homelessness, drug/alcohol abuse, public riot/violence, unwanted pregnancies and crime. Getting even one young person gainfully employed is therefore a big deal. And together, we have done more than that. THANK YOU.
We thank all our donors for their great support this year, especially our recurring donors. Without your support we would not have been able to help so many people.
We have increased the number of email, skype and phone participants, since we have only an office in Accra and our participants are all over the country. These avenues have allowed us to mentor and counsel so many participants who cannot afford to come to our premises. The sad part is that even some of our Accra participants sometimes do not have enough money for transport and meals to come as frequently as they would wish. These avenues therefore serve this group as well.
The good news is that we have been able to place over 50 graduates into jobs over this last two months through our Employment Partner programme. We are very happy and proud about this achievement because the number of unemployed graduates is now around 200,000 with this year's graduates joining the pool. We were able to place a higher number of young women too and that was a great achievement for us.
We are ready to take in new participants starting next week and we look forward to a great new year, since we have had a lot of opportunity to advertise our services to unemployed graduates all over the country. We sincerely hope that our funding will increase to enable us to open an office in the Northern or Ashabti Region in 2013 to help those who are too far away to come and use our Accra facilities.
We are so grateful for all the support we have received both at home and abroad and we hope that all our sponsors will stay on and help us to continue the fight against youth unemployment which invariably, leads to poverty, stress, depression, homelessness, single-motherhood, drug abuse, violence as well as fraud and other crimes among the youth.
Thank you and Happy Holidays to each and every single one of our current and potential donors. God bless.
During the last few months, we have witnessed and enjoyed the success of a number of our participants. We have also had to say farewell to two of them, who have attained the enviable status of TY Alumni. We congratulate our successful participants – those who are still with us and those who are leaving. We wish all those leaving a continued fruitful, enjoyable and professional work experience with requisite rewards. We are proud of all of you.
Akosua, our graduate Engineer has made it into the world of work. She has been offered employment in one of our largest international telecommunications Companies. She is currently completing their in-house orientation. It was a great day when she finally got the call. She could not contain her joy and Skyped me all the way in New York from our ICT Centre to give me the news. She has promised to be a dedicated professional and to put to use all that she has learnt at Totally Youth. Akosua keeps in touch now via phone and Skype.
Summ, our Radio Presenter has also moved on to a better job with accommodation and transportation as perks. He is enjoying a whole new routine at a new Radio Station out of Accra. He is on air every day, entertaining the youth with his music and entertainment show, which he produces and hosts. He no longer needs accommodation at Totally Youth which opens up the opportunity for another participant to move in. Summ stays in touch via telephone and email and so far so good with his new job. He believes that his preparation at TY has strengthened him as a professional and he has promised to make us proud.
Nakki – our Events Manager is doing well with his Ghana High School Music Awards which he has now transformed into the Fashion and Music Encounter – FAME, to include a fashion segment in a bid to get sponsorships for both young musicians and young fashion designers. Nakki received his first, signed sponsorship packages recently – one for free broadcast of his programme on one of our private television networks and the other, for financial support to contribute to the cost of production of the 16 episodes of the programme. He has also received fabrics from two donors for contestants, which will be designed and made into outfits by the contesting young fashion designers to fit the young music contestants as part of the show. A hotel is offering its dance hall for the recording of the show on barter basis. The production team is made up of young self-employed graduates from our national film school. This is therefore a show by the youth for the youth with the youth. It’s great to see young talented professionals at work. Nakki is still with us at TY and we are very proud of his achievements. He has access to TY Shared Office Space, Wi-Fi Internet, Computers, Event Space, Knowledge Space (DSTV), ICT Centre and transitional accommodation. He receives mentoring and counselling whenever he needs it. In support of his show, the contesting fashion designers will use TY’s Fashion Centre to design and make the outfits for the 12 Music contestants for each episode.
THE FIGHT FOR YOUTH EMPLOYMENT IS A MUST
We miss both Akosua and Summ already, but we are very happy for them, their siblings and their parents. Since they are still in touch with us, we are continuing our counselling and mentoring by email, Skype and telephone. Totally Youth is proud of its alumni and we believe, even more so than before, that when given the right kind of support and conditions, our youth excel as committed, motivated and disciplined professionals. Furthermore, youth unemployment leads to unnecessary youth depression, drug and alcohol abuse, unwanted pregnancies, broken homes, homelessness and streetism, which must be stopped at all costs. Youth employment guarantees our youth the basic needs of life – food, shelter and clothing, which no-one can live without. Let us continue to FIGHT FOR YOUTH EMPLOYMENT as our contribution to world peace and development.
OUR SUCCESS - YOUR SUCCESS
We say a Big THANK YOU to all the Totally Youth Friends of the Youth for Helping us Help the youth Help themselves. We make a winning team. CONGRATULATIONS.
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