World Education is dedicated to improving the lives of the poor through education, and economic and social development programs.

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African Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (AYEDI)

Country: Uganda

Client(s): US Department of Labor

Expertise: Life Skills Training, Microfinance and Livelihoods Development, Youth, Child Labor and Trafficking Prevention

Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world. High dropout rates, lack of opportunity, and persistent poverty create barriers for youth to access well-paying employment. Many youth end up working in hazardous conditions for minimal compensation.

Through the African Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (AYEDI), the Bantwana Initiative of World Education, Inc. is working to provide education, vocational training, and decent work opportunities for vulnerable youth, ages 15 to 17.

Youth are encouraged to join Youth Empowerment Clubs, where they receive life skills, occupational safety training, study tours, and career guidance. After successfully enrolling in a club, each youth participant has the opportunity to progress to an educational and/or vocational pathway: an Integrated Functional Literacy for Youth (IFLY) program, a non-formal education (NFE) apprenticeship and trade certification, or a secondary school block grant (SSBG).

In addition to the Youth Empowerment Clubs, youth are supported to establish or join savings groups to build capital, increase their financial literacy skills, and practice saving. Savings groups foster strong peer support to help youth stay focused on career goals and address challenges. Parents and guardians of the youth are also supported in joining village savings and loan associations (VSLAs).

Funded by the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) and in partnership with local governments, Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans (UWESO), Straight Talk Foundation, and RECO Industries, AYEDI will reach 4,967 youth by the end of the project in June 2018 and will graduate 3,507 youth through the various pathways.