Peace Child International has for the past 30 years been a global leader in working in collaboration with the world’s youth on a wide range of issues. Our work is guided by what young people tell us are their primary concerns which have varied from East/West relations, the environment to, currently, the problem of youth unemployment.
We encourage young people to get informed and give them the support they need to learn and create positive change in their own lives and that of their communities.
Our theory of change creates a virtuous circle: young people are trained to train
others, who train and mentor others, and so on – creating jobs that fuel
economic development, and boost further development. The driving force behind every stage of this process is young people themselves. Ultimately, young people are the solution to the problems they face. They design, shape and run our youth employment
programmes – helping them transform their own lives and the lives of many others.
In the UK, where young people are nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population, jobs are going unfilled because employers can’t find the recruits they need. Our Work the Change programme is is designed to ease the school-to-work transition. We train VI formers to lead workshops for their younger peers (aged 15+ ) aimed at making them become proactive so that they build up extra curricula skills while still at school. There is a follow on mentorship programme for students who require extra encouragement.We help young people get a clearer understanding of what employers are looking for and how to assess their own skills and experiences.
Worldwide over the next ten years, 600 million young people will enter a job market with just 200 million jobs waiting for them. In developing countries, 83% of jobs are in the enterprise sector but few schools teach entepreneurial skills. Our Be the Change Academies are youth-led prorammes that provide enterprise training, loans and mentorship to aspiring young entrepreneurs in West Africa. Each BTCA runs youth-led free business plan creation trainings which are linked to a revolving loan fund that invests in the best business plans. 1500 disadvantged young women have so far undertaken the free ten week training programme where they learn business skills ranging from market research, managing staff to customer service. We have funded over 200 businesses so far.
In the UK in the past 18 months we have trained 120 VI former Ambassadors who have delivered workshops to 1,920 Year 10 students. We have developed mentorship programme for those students who rarely volunteer or put themselves forward. We plan to expand this programme to reach disadvantaged young people who are furthest from the labour market.
In West Africa we are planning to expand our BTCAs centres so we can provide further opportunities to disadvantaged young women both in towns and rural areas. We want to be able to provide more loans so that those attending the training have collateral to be able to start their own businesses. We are currently focusing on Sierra Leone and have targeted young women so far as they prove to be extremely conscientious and hard working. Helping to give them economic independence benefits the whole family.