– November 27 2018
Empowering Girls through YouthLinks
Empowering woman helps empower girls through training provided at YouthLinks
Jessica, 25, is passionate about supporting other young women in Nigeria to achieve their potential.
She recently took part in YouthLinks, an online mentoring program organized by SOS Children’s Villages and Volunteer Vision, which uses a digital platform to connect young people and volunteers from the private sector. The program offers virtual mentoring to young people leaving the care of SOS Children’s Villages, so they can build their employability skills.
In the five-week program, participants together with their mentors identify their strengths and weaknesses as well as set goals for the future. Jessica was paired with Jennifer Chinyere Obulo, a Human Resources (HR) professional for Allianz Africa.
“I want to say a big thank you to YouthLinks for this great eye-opening opportunity,” says Jessica. “I’m especially grateful to my mentor, Miss Jennifer – I couldn’t ask for any other. With her experience as an HR professional, she has helped me to become a bold lady, taught me which language to use during an interview and how to overcome my fears about interviews. She has also shown me how to create an interesting CV.”
YouthLinks has increased the job opportunities – and confidence – of 42 young people in Nigeria since it was launched in the country in July. Based on the feedback compiled during the pilot evaluation, 91% of youth participants now know what their career interests are.
While she has not yet found a job, Jessica is determinedly applying what she has learned from her mentor by volunteering in a camp for internally displaced persons. “She has taught me how to use my strengths in any given opportunity which I am currently using at the camp in Anguldi Zawan, where around 38,000 persons live.” These people were displaced due to territorial disputes between herdsmen.
At the camp, Jessica is a teacher who also mentors young women. “I love teaching and being around young people. This mentoring process has helped me greatly in my volunteer job at the camp, because apart from teaching the children, I now hold a weekly meeting with young girls between the ages of 14-25 to discuss issues affecting them,” she says. “I have discovered a lot about myself through the YouthLinks mentoring program.”
As part of our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 8 – Create equal job opportunities for all, SOS Children’s Villages supports young people who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care in developing the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the job market, gain decent work and transition to a self-sufficient life as an adult. YouthLinks – which is part of a global initiative to increase youth employability called YouthCan! – is one example of this.
Top image: Jessica. Photo: SOS archives.