BUILDING SKILLS 4 LIFE
Nowadays, job searching has become a full time job in itself! Youths in Cameroon like elsewhere in Africa are more and more likely to pursue formal education but upon graduation they often find that they are not adequately prepared for the world of work. This is because the skills relevant to key growth sectors of the modern economy – both technical and “soft” skills – are often not taught in our schools. Employers often find a “skills mismatch” and a “work experience gap” between the competencies young people need to succeed in the workplace and those they actually possess. Worse still, most graduates complete school without the skills to construct a professional CV (resumé) or sit for a successful interview.
Our educational system offers rote learning, which does not equip graduates with necessary skills to grab that very first job upon graduation and to easily transition into adulthood. It is in a bit to make a modest contribution towards complementing our educational system by empowering young people to increase their employability and better confront the 21st century challenges that Eddy Hope Foundation has come up with this timely initiative – Building Skills 4 Life (BS4L).
Our Building Skills for Life (BS4L) project is a Life Skills & Entrepreneurship Development initiative with mission to equip youths with adapted 21st century skills needed for the job market and business world. We focus on training and skills development whose rationale is to bridge the skills mismatch gap and the work experience trap.
Our BS4L training fall under two main categories – job seekers and job creators categories.
Job seekers are equipped with skills like Career Planning & Assessment, CV & Cover Letter Writing, Job Searching Techniques, Interview Skills, Community Service and Volunteerism etc..
Job creators (entrepreneurs) are trained on Entrepreneurial Spirit, Business Plan Writing, Risk Taking, Coping with Failure, Bookkeeping, Customer Service, Corporate Social Responsibility etc
So far we have formally trained and graduated 21 young job seekers and 05 job creators whose lives have been transformed in a considerable way. We also run weekly BS4L training with a particular module treated every session. Presently we are collaborating with host organizations to do effective job matching and thus create definite employment. We are currently sourcing for funds to setup and fully equip our pioneer BS4L Center in Bamenda Cameroon. We welcome stakeholders to join us in this venture either as funders, host organizations, volunteer facilitators. Contact us to get engaged.
ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN (OVC) SUPPORT
The issue of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) is a growing challenge due to a host of underlying factors ranging from community marginalization, poor parenting, poverty, peer influence to HIV/ AIDS. The increase in the HIV/AIDS pandemic has greatly affected children in sub-Saharan Africa especially Cameroon with the number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS alone in Cameroon increased dramatically from 13,000 in 1995 to 304,000 in 2010. This number is projected to rise to 350.000 by 2020. The most critical issue here is that these orphans are left in the hands of their grandparents or other relatives who for the most part lack sufficient means to cater for their needs, especially health, education and nutrition.
Worse of it is that these children are not only deprived of schooling, basic health care, and proper nutrition because their caregivers cannot afford to provide for them, but extreme poverty also makes them prime targets for human trafficking, sexual slavery, forceful early marriages and more.
We support Orphans and Vulnerable Children to further their educational pursuits by providing them with scholastic materials, school needs, guidance, etc…
Within a maximum period of 3 moths, we empower the caretakers of these orphans and vulnerable children (mostly widows and single mothers) with livelihood support to initiate income generating activities geared towards increasing their household income and hence provide sustainable support to the OVC and to fight poverty,
We also identify, mobilize and channel extend mobile counseling services to OVC, especially those infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS – especially stigma and discrimination.
We appreciate lovers of human right to join us by donating to this cause.
We have a bank of over 500 identified Orphans and Vulnerable Children in our database. However, due to lack of sufficient resources, we are only able to reach out to a few. We are currently sourcing for funds and other resources to socio-economically empower the caregivers of these OVC through the setting up of micro-businesses and other Income Generating Activities (IGAs) to improve on their livelihood.
Computer knowledge is still considered an issue for the “rich” and middle class with the “poor” completely left out of the picture. Most youth come from homes where they have never seen or touched a computer. The level of penetration of computer literacy in youth is still shallow with a majority of them having just a brief theoretical knowledge in computer basics and little or no practical experience. Increasingly, one of Cameroon’s sources of employment and economic growth will be jobs that require skills in the ICT domain. The question is: Will our schools be capable to educate enough youth with skills to fill the gap?
Enhancing access for youth in ICT related trainings, jobs and leadership roles, will contribute greatly to Cameroon’s emergence. This is exactly the idea behind our Campus Geek initiative.
To improve on the education and economic outcome of secondary school students by reducing the dropout rates and ensure an easy transition into adulthood. We do this by collaborating with the Computer Clubs to set up a co-curricular learning platform that initiates students to cultivate team spirit and creativity among themselves to become more actively involved in school and community projects.
So far over 1500 students have directly benefited from this project and improved on their education outcome, improved students’ access to digital literacy tools like the computer.
The schools that benefited from this project include:
Government Bilingual High School Ntamulung (Bamenda 2 Sub Division)
Progressive Comprehensive High School (Bamenda 2 Sub Division)
NATCHO Bilingual Comprehensive High School (Bamenda 2 Sub Division)
Government Bilingual High School Atiela (Bamenda 3 Sub Division)
Government Technical High School Nkwen (Bamenda 3 Sub Division)
The challenge we face with this project is the charged and inconvenient calendar of activities of the targeted schools and the lack of volunteers to facilitate computer literacy sessions in the various schools. However, we have replaced the project with the BS4L package of Life Skills for Students and Learners. We now collaborate with the school administration via the counseling department to deliver the project. We are in need of volunteers (national and international) to deliver project activities in the various schools we work with.