Youth who are at risk of losing parental care or have already lost it will now benefit from a new project dubbed, YouthCan!.
The project was launched last week by SOS Children’s Villages Rwanda and will benefit more than 600 youths.
Under the project, the youth will be provided with training to improve their employability and create opportunities for them to get workplace experience through job placements and internships.
Speaking at the launch, Claudine Nyinawagaga, the SOS country director, called on both the public and private sector to work closely to create employment for vulnerable youth.
“The unemployment rate among SOS youth is more than 40 per cent despite the various efforts invested in education and care. This indicates that there is a need to initiate robust employability programmes for youth within SOS care as well as youth living in vulnerable communities and families,” she said.
The project brings together key sector players in the public sector, including the Ministries of Youth, and of Labour and Public Service, the National Employment Programme, Workforce Development Authority, Kigali Employment Service Centre, and Business Development Fund.
Rosemary Mbabazi, the minister for youth, urged young people to take advantage of existing opportunities to improve their skills, boost their employability and create jobs.
Youth who attended the launch expressed their need for mentorship and opportunities in order to gain workplace experience.
“More than finances, we need mentorship so that we can make sound decisions and get experience,” said a youth only identified as Gilbert, a final year medical student who has been under the care of SOS Children’s Villages since 2001.
Julie Mutoni, the country manager for DHL Express, expressed commitment to supporting Youthcan! project and urged other private sector players to create opportunities for the youth to gain workplace experience.
Youthcan! project is a global initiative that has also been launched in Nigeria and South Africa.