Up-skilling Youth for Independence

by Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)
Up-skilling Youth for Independence
Up-skilling Youth for Independence
Up-skilling Youth for Independence
Up-skilling Youth for Independence
Up-skilling Youth for Independence
Up-skilling Youth for Independence
Up-skilling Youth for Independence
Up-skilling Youth for Independence
Up-skilling Youth for Independence
Up-skilling Youth for Independence

Dear Supporters,


For the past three months we have had the opportunity to have interns from across Africa join us as virtual interns for our partnering grassroots organisations. This project aimed to advance the education and skills of vulnerable youth who have been negatively affected by the side effects of covid-19 due to unemployment, lockdown, lack of ability to travel or attend education. 


Each youth intern was paired with a professional mentor within the field of sustainable development and an NGO depending on their interest. For a period varying from 4-12 weeks, the youth volunteered virtually and assisted in areas such as marketing, measure and evaluation, training or grant writing. During this time, the youth further participated in online learning activities focusing on an element of sustainable development and will receive a certificate in Sustainable Development from Columbia University.


This project specifically targeted youth, NGOs and the direct beneficiaries of the NGOs.


Youth have been heavily impacted by COVID-19, forcing youth into unemployment and bad mental health. Many are left with few options to work, study and travel. By providing an opportunity to virtually intern increased their knowledge on global issues within the areas of sustainable development through lectures, online learning programs, mentoring whilst getting practical experience.


NGOs have been struggling due to the side effects of COVID-19 and many have lost their funding, making it difficult to get back on their feet. In addition, they can no longer get assistance from regular volunteers on site causing a big gap in their operations. Virtual volunteers will support in filling the temporary gap and assist NGOs in getting back on their feet and continue to support their beneficiaries. NGO’s struggle has further impacted their beneficiaries who have been directly impacted by COVID-19 and rely on NGOs and volunteers for survival especially as people are losing their lives and livelihoods. 


One of our interns was Chelsea who was one of the first to join our new, virtual internship program. During her program she was working with a Zimbabwean Women’s Foundation and got to onboard our new partner, edit MoUs, as well as designing a measure and evaluation system together with her mentor. At the same time she completed her online course in Sustainable Development at Columbia University. After the program she got accepted into University and a job offer to work part-time at a social enterprise.


This project was highly effective as it applies a collaborative approach and builds institutions which will survive past the life-span of this grant. Further, it tackles three large groups of beneficiaries: UK youth which has been impacted by COVID -19 due to unemployment or cancelled travel plans; NGOs which have lost their funding due to reduced donations as a result of the financial crisis caused by COVID -19; and finally the people and the environment which are being directly affected by COVID -19 and who do not have a safety net to support them during COVID -19 and its aftermath.


As a result of the successful pilot project we are now busy securing funding to ensure that more African youth get the opportunity to participate.

Thank you for all of your support over the last quarter, we cannot wait to share our progress with you!


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Dear Supporters,


COVID-19 outbreak is currently destroying the economy which South Africa has slowly been building since apartheid ended over 26 years ago. Even before COVID-19, South Africa was experiencing extensive racism, poverty and age and gender inequality. In January 2020, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the unemployment rate of youths was as high as 58%. As South Africa has gone into lockdown, an additional 1.5 million is estimated to join the unemployed. The huge income inequality due to colour and age makes it difficult for marginalised youth to break the barriers to join the workforce and earn an income. This is an emergency appeal to assist in upskilling and retraining the newly unemployed youth in South Africa so they are not left behind and that they can contribute in rebuilding South Africa’s economy and break the cycle of poverty. 


COVID-19 is going to change our way of life forever. All our communities that we work with in South Africa have already reported the loss of small informal businesses, and consequently, increased unemployment. Whilst governmental support is being put in place, it is nowhere enough to be able to support everyone in need. 


Our vocational and up-skilling program is going to be a vital resource for the newly unemployed to rebuild lives as we come out of this lockdown. GVI Trust will be setting up a temporary training centre for the unemployed due to COVID-19. This project will offer marginalised youths the opportunity to get their current skills refreshed, learn a new trade and the skills to secure a job. What will make the centre unique is that it will join our planned enterprise project so that local businesses and entrepreneurs will share the same space and provide mentoring and training to others, become self-sustainable and provide a real opportunity for people to be put in front of hiring employers. The centre will tackle the initial issue but will become locally run and self sustaining with time. The initial initiatives will include:


Selling yourself to the employer

The training centre will have workshops and resources available to assist the unemployed with training in how to land a job. This will include practical training of the full recruitment cycle from how and where to search for jobs, writing CV and cover letters to training in interview skills and the arrangement of networking events to introduce job seekers to employers. This will be done in groups, initially facilitated by a staff member, but later handed over to a mentor. 


Vocational Training

A selection of trades will be taught at the training centre or at relevant training spaces. This will include anything from customer service and barista training to welding and sewing skills. The trades taught will depend on the beneficiaries wishes; the demand in the South African labour market; and what skills the community members themself have the ability to teach.


Refreshing Current Skills

By offering the unemployed the ability to teach their skills and trades to others, they will not only learn leadership and teaching skills but also refresh their own skills and increase their confidence. This will be achieved by all community members filing their current skills and experiences together what they want to learn. The exchange of skills will be coordinated by the training center. 


Professional Clothing Library

First impression matters and that is why the training centre will have a clothing library which can be utilised by those who have gone through the training process for upcoming interviews. Candidates will borrow a set of clothes for the interview and will be responsible to wash it prior to bringing it back to the Clothing Library at the training center.


We would be most grateful if our trusted supporters would consider making a contribution to our COVID-19 Emergency Response project which is designed to:


  • Provide 500 people with employability workshops
  • Provide at least 50 people with vocational skills courses
  • Provide at least 50 people with mentorship opportunities within the training center.
  • Provide everyone who has gone through the centre with access to the professional clothing library.


Whilst we are all experiencing the struggles of Covid-19, we cannot let the endless efforts which have gone into building an economy in South Africa crumble over the course of two months.


Thank you for all of your support over the last quarter, we cannot wait to share our progress with you!


With Gratitude,


Africa Youth Independence


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Dear Supporters,


When we drove out to the rural communities outside of Norton in Zimbabwe, the local partners informed me that the situation was quite extreme. Many people had never left the village and let alone had dreams of making their own money. The GVI Trust knew that this is where real impact can happen. 


The Zimbabwean social worker had a week earlier announced that people interested in participating in cosmetology training should attend an information session arranged by GVI Trust and their local partners. What we didn’t know was that over 15 young mothers would greet us as we drove on the dirt road leading up to the school where we were holding the session. The ladies were full och questions, hope and curiosity of the programme which was designed to cater for the need of cosmetologist in the area. Beading and weaving hair is a huge industry in Zimbabwe, and even the women in the rural communities ensure to invest in hair. This is considered to be important to remain hope of a better life and the idea of dressing for success. The women we met themselves currently seeked such services outside of the community, and walked far to get it. The idea was to bring the service there and keep the funds circulating within rather than outside the community. After showing interviews of previous participants, answering questions and reiterating the importance of commitment, we left the community behind hearing chattering behind us. Now, a month later, 13 people have started the technical training of braiding harr, doing nails and providing facials coupled with life skills of entrepreneurship, savings but also the issues of domestic violence and HIV/AIDS. 


The effort to support people in Zimbabwe with opportunities to learn skills to become independent and earn money is crucial to get the economy going after the massive crash with hit the nation in 2007-2008. This work would not be possible without your generous donations, fundraising and support. We cannot wait to update you on how the women are taking advantage of this opportunity and change their lives. 


Thank you for your donations, fundraisers and support!


With Gratitude,


Zimbabwe Youth Independence

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Organization Information

Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Daniel Sitarenios
London, London United Kingdom

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