Building the Human Capital in African Youths

Recent developments and latest statistics in Sierra Leone indicate a growing number of vulnerable youths have become victims of difficult life experiences. According to an online report, 22,000 children were orphaned losing one or both parents to the Ebola virus. Lamia Bazir, a Moroccan executive director of the National Observatory for Children’s Right stated that of the 120 million street children in the world, 30% are contained in Africa. These are children who are hardly cared for, with little or no education and are victims of war, natural disasters, pre-mature parental deaths or some other misfortune.  Reports by UNICEF, show that 40,000 children a year are estimated to be victims of trafficking in the Republic of Benin. These children are forcibly removed from school and sent to work in agricultural settings and in brothels by their traffickers while their parents, in order to mitigate the situation, are offered as low as $6 a month to keep their wards.

Nigeria’s young girls, attracted by the lure of jobs in the hospitality industry in Europe fall victims as sex workers. In January 2019, CNN  reported that 20,000 young girls were sold to a prostitution ring to work in Malaysia, though it turned out to be Mali, a West African country. Many thousands over the past 3 decades have willingly moved to Italy as sex workers, meeting the demand of Italian men, who subject them to lewd bestial acts. It is appropriate to conclude that a lack of education, social skills and low aspirations are responsible for the readiness to tow this dehumanising path of life. A very modest estimate of 30,000 Nigerian sex workers  can be found on the streets of Italy. With the impelling need to make a success of their lives, African youths are faced to seek various ways to improve their lives by desperate hook or crook means which include treacherous and illegal migration into large cities within Africa and Europe.

Under this backdrop, it is very clear that poor education and a lack of opportunity are at the heart of the malaise these young people are experiencing. Inadequate educational provision consisting of curriculum content that seeks to drill down theories and concepts has proven ineffective because it does not prepare its youths for the life ahead of them.

In recent times, the need to transform pedagogy to meet complex changes facing global societies is real. There are strong calls for paradigm shifts to meet lifelong learning needs for youths who are ingrained with the urge to create, innovate, invent and make a real and lasing change in their immediate societies. The transformation in the pedagogy goes beyond changes in the teachers’ classroom practice, popularly to apply technology into their lesson plan and maximise learner engagement. It is about reviewing curriculum to include enrichment sessions where issues such as illegal immigration, child, sex and human trafficking are explored with holistic solutions given. These kinds of sessions would offer an insight into the real dangers of the underworld, using the stories of victims to relay the strong message, thus providing essential education for youths in disadvantaged communities prone to the different facets of trafficking. The prevalent growing gaps in education constitute a neglect of the immediate needs of youths and are a real societal menace in many African communities

UKAPES attempts to bridge this gap through an unusual means by the way of a social enterprise conceived as SASSBUC – Supper and Social Skills Building Club. The club is a fortnightly assembly of 10 youths, 14 to 19 years old, 5 boys and 5 girls, where each person would develop team building skills by participating in cooking a meal and learning about culinary skills, setting a table, eating and discussing their learning, setting achievable and realistic goals and ideating about actions to meet their aspirations.

SASSBUC aims to achieve the following objectives

·         Develop communication and social skills in young people
·         Inculcate team building and lifelong skills which include culinary skills, domestic budgeting, time management, organisational skills and sourcing for information
·         Assist participants to set SMART targets for their education and aspirations
·         Engage role models/public figures to provide support, advisory services, good connections and networking opportunities to participants
·         Expand SASSBUC into major cities across West Africa.

Funds are urgently needed to fulfil the provision in renting community halls with kitchen facilities on a regular basis and purchasing food ingredients and cockery sets for the bi-monthly dinners. In the selected cities at the initial stage, Freetown, Lagos and Ibadan, for experienced tutors who also act as a co-ordinators, funds will be used to pay for their service in recruiting vulnerable youths, implementing the project and reporting to UKAPES. It is our mission to grow this provision in underserved communities such as Benin City, Nigeria and Makeni  Town, Sierra Leone, where there are high rates of youth unemployment and increasing incidences of human trafficking. We believe that vulnerabilities can be arrested very early on in the lives of these neglected youths through relevant programmes which will empower and modify them into good and employable citizens in the future.

It may be recalled that UKAPES co-founders launched a gofundme campaign  to deliver essential training workshops in Freetown and Makeni in August 2018 . We are proud to inform all stakeholders that the sessions were very well received with over 220 participating teachers where relevant professional development and innovative pedagogies were delivered.

41479174_1566404544205509_r.jpegMakeni Teachers perusing through different feedback strategies 

 Some teachers who expressed their concerns were supported to open email accounts to initiate their digital skills development for further incorporation into their practice among other techniques. We were delighted to receive the Minister for education  who officially declared open the sessions.

We look forward to generous donations towards the successful implementation of this project as an effective means of intervention  in the lives of vulnerable young  African adults. We promise to keep you posted with updates on the latest developments of the club. Be assured of our hard work to achieve our mission of transferring teaching and learning skills from the UK to Africa.

 

 UKAPES Co-founders

 Joyce Elemson and Isatu Bangura

41479174_156640736311505_r.jpegOrphaned youths in Sierra Leone

41479174_1566407501780434_r.jpegYoung Nigerian Prostitutes in Italy

41479174_1566407614253593_r.jpegStreet Children in Morocco

41479174_1566407728650129_r.jpegYoung pickers in an isolated rural area 

Your donations will go a long way to support the skills and development of these under-served African youths.

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • £50 
    • 28 d
  • Oriyomi Jinad 
    • £10 
    • 1 mo
  • Adedotun adegbeye 
    • £27 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • £100 
    • 2 mos
  • Ufot John Ibanga 
    • £100 
    • 4 mos
See all

Organizer

Elemson Jay 
Organizer
Welling, Greater London, United Kingdom
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