Actual presentation in basic Barista training
Amidst the Covid19 pandemic that struck the whole world, the vulnerable sectors of society, especially the poor and underprivileged, suffered greatly as their health, livelihood and education were negatively impacted. In the Philippines, a huge percentage of workers lost their jobs, bringing the unemployment rate to 6.6% or 3.27 million jobless Filipinos as of February 10, 2022. They are forced to rely on relief goods from the government and some private organizations. Living a hand-to-mouth existence before the pandemic, now they have no money or savings for food and medical expenses.
Based on our data, more than 60% of beneficiaries reported loss of income or difficulty in finding ways to earn. This is because the movement of people was limited, with us having one of the longest lockdowns in the world—affecting the ability to earn income as most of them rely on finding a means to earn money while roaming the streets of Metro Manila. Food aid was available for a while, but it was not sufficient enough to sustain their families amidst the inability to earn income. Aside from food aid, they also expressed the need for monetary help, which they opt to use for paying rent and utilities. Although about 70% of them received financial aid from the government, the subsidy given was not enough for the duration of the lockdown, given that they do not have means to earn money at the moment.
Two years into the pandemic and nothing much has changed. Although the economy is slowly opening up due to lesser restrictions, the effects of the recession are far from being over—making the chances of finding employment and a means of living more difficult.
Activities implemented during the reporting period
Reporting period will be covering the last three (3) to four (4) months of the Street Youth Empowerment Project (SYEP) for the first batch of FY 2020 implementation. During the reporting period, the country was still under a new normal situation due to the pandemic. Covered months will be from December 2021 until March 2022.
The first reporting month (December) had three (3) major activities to consider namely; Livelihood Training on T-Shirt and Mug Printing, Livelihood Training on Snack Making, Food Processing, Dishwashing Liquid, Hand Sanitizer and Bleach Making; and Entrepreneurship Session.
Livelihood Training on T-Shirt and Mug Printing consist of three (3) sessions in all. The first session was intended for an overview and lecture on the process of printing through the methods of silkscreen and sublimation. Accordingly, silkscreen printing as an earlier process provides a more economical process for starters who are just starting a printing business. Being economical, it allows the entrepreneur to invest only a small amount for the materials. It also allows the person to really appreciate the product having prepared them meticulously to avoid mistakes and additional cost. On the other hand, sublimation printing is a more recent development in the process of printing which requires equipment (heat press and computer printer). Hence, it is more costly to invest in this kind of printing process but such provides for a more practical and fast way of finishing a volume of product in bulk. The second and third sessions were intended for actual demonstration of the process of silkscreen and sublimation printing and actual hands on the process afterwards by the participants.
Livelihood Training on Snack Making taught the participants on how to make simple snacks to start a business consists of one (1) session. Snacks that were introduced are “Turon w/ Cheese” (fried coated banana with sugar and cheese) and “Special Putobumbong” (steamed rice starch with cheese and condensed milk). The two (2) snacks were popular snacks in the country but were introduced or prepared in a level-up way to be more marketable and appealing to consumers thereby, introducing a twist in presenting them. The livelihood training on food processing consists of two (2) sessions (1 session for “tocino” and “longganisa” making ang 1 session for “siomai” making). All these three (3) were the most popular processed meat products in the country that are commonly started as a business by many Filipinos, especially mothers. After each livelihood session, food tasting followed whereby, staff of Childhope was invited to try the products for comment along with all the youth participants. Livelihood training in dishwashing liquid soap, hand sanitizer, and bleach making were taught in the last part consisting of two (2) sessions. The three (3) were selected as the focus of training based on their everyday usability and high demand at this time of pandemic situation in the country.
Entrepreneurship session was the last major activity facilitated in December 2020 which allows the youth participants to learn basic knowledge about Entrepreneurship such as: (1) definition of Entrepreneurship; (2) significant characteristic of an entrepreneur; (3) difference between a businessman and entrepreneur and (4) the three elements to be considered in putting up a small business. During the discussion, participants shared their excitement and expressed their interest in putting up a small business because of the new skills that they have learned from the previous skills training activity. However, they were quite hesitant if they could really do it because they are concerned about the start-up capital. Although there were some participants who are unlikely to become entrepreneurs, still they remain firm that whatever inputs that they have learned in the course will be a great help for them to become successful. At the end of the session, the facilitator processed the emotion of participants by asking them when they consider themselves as successful. The youth responded with the following answers (summed up): (1) If they have put up their own business and paid all their debt (2) If they have built their own houses (3) If they are earning more than the basic wages and (4) If they are able to apply what they have learned from VocTech sessions in their day-to-day living.
Skills for Employability Session were facilitated last January 28-29, 2022 at Childhope Philippines office. The session taught the youth participants the skills in applying for a job including the skill in making their very own resume. Moreover, youth participants learned the various skills that an applicant must possess in applying for a job. During the session, the facilitator discovered that some of the youth participants already had experience either in applying for a job or working in an establishment. Hence, the training gave them an opportunity to be aware of their loopholes in job application preparation particularly on job interviews. Second day session was about resume making and mock job interview demonstration. Youth participants were observed to be confident in finishing their resumes maybe because most of them were used to computer operation. However, youth were observed quite anxious in their mock job interview demonstration with a bit of nervousness of what to expect. What added to their tension was the participation of an interviewer not known to the youth that was invited, making the youth feel what it’s like in applying for a job. Nevertheless, they still tried it and pushed through without any of them backing out which later made them happy and proud with what they have done or accomplished that day.
Livelihood fair was a new activity introduced in the project this year which aims for the youth participants to experience other means of marketing their product as entrepreneurs if ever they’ve decided to start their own business. Also, the objective of the activity was to showcase the different products brought about by their participation in livelihood training. Prior to the said event, pre-online selling of the products was facilitated ahead of the scheduled fair on social media (Facebook) to promote not only the products but the event as well.
Prior to the above activities mentioned, institution of preparation for the activities was facilitated including but not limited to purchase of materials; preparation of forms needed which will be accomplished by youth, printing of materials for the workshop; and others. Facilitators of the activities were coordinated as regards the schedules in order to avoid conflict with their other concerns. They were as well communicated about the materials that they need for preparation. Preparation of budget proposals for the activities including check requisition and encashment were also facilitated.
Lessons Learned and Realization
Youth participants have gained their confidence to become an entrepreneur because they believe that they are equipped enough to try their luck in putting up their own businesses, since they already have the skills to make some products. They likewise recognized the essence of the skills training and other sessions that the VocTech Project had provided for them to acquire and enhance their competence.
The common goal in life by most of the youth participants is to get out of poverty. Nobody mentioned finishing their studies and getting a decent job afterwards, which is the usual answer as well. With this, the gradual change in perspective of the youth about education can be seen. Slowly the younger generation appreciates and recognizes that learning is part of the development process, but it is not limited to formal schooling because there are many ways to learn and fulfill their dreams.
Participants have certainly improved their self-confidence after attending the session on skills for employability. Evidence of this was observed during the introductory session where most of them are quite nervous in introducing themselves. When asked about it, most of them were hesitant to speak up. Along the way in the session, some of the youth participants shared that they have already experienced working but only through referral. They have not experienced applying for a specific role in a company with job interviews and the like. Thus, they appreciate the opportunity of having attended the session so that they will be guided in their future job application.
Perhaps starting is the hardest part in any journey. However, gaining support and skills aid through livelihood programs makes it easier for our street youth to strive for progress. Through the livelihood programs , they were able to gain knowledge which they could use to make money for their needs. Moreover, these projects also help street youth to gain viable profit and provide for their families in the long run.
With the current issues that trigger problems for the poor, it’s easy for them to lose hope. But having groups like Childhope Philippines whose mission is to provide help for the poor gives a glimpse of hope towards change. Help more street children have a better future! Join our cause by sharing a bit of your time, effort, and knowledge. You may apply as ou rvolunteers o rdonate to create more livelihood programs for the wellness of street youth! Contact us today to learn more about us, or our Facebook page for program updates.
Youth learned the basic napkin folding at F&B trai
Youth participants on Basic Entreprenuer training.
Youth attends basic financial literacy sessions