At SOS Children’s Villages, we have made it our priority to emphasise the importance of education to empower and inspire children and young people. We’re preparing the next generation in Ethiopia and around the world by:
- Providing care to over 1,400 children and young people in Ethiopia
- Offering education through the SOS Primary Schools and SOS Secondary Schools in Ethiopia, which provide education to over 4,300 children and young people, equipping them with the confidence and skills to flourish
- Providing over 17,000 young adults skills training from 63 SOS Vocational Training Centres around the world
The reality of finding employment in Ethiopia
According to the World Bank, Ethiopia’s economy has grown by 10% over the last five years. Although progress is being made, unemployment rates among young people still remain alarmingly high. Abeba Tiumelisan, the national child protection and gender advisor in SOS Children’s Villages Ethiopia, has been working with SOS young people for over 15 years.
“The labour force is growing much more rapidly than the population because of Ethiopia’s demographic profile,” says Abeba. “And, there are many more under-15-years-old entering the workforce each year than there are old people in the labor market.”
Abeba explains that in major urban centres 15-29-year-olds account for up to 40% of the population. As a result of Ethiopia’s economy, the majority of youth, including the young people at SOS Children’s Villages in Ethiopia, find it difficult to find employment upon graduation. However, we are helping SOS young graduates stand out by placing them in apprenticeships, facilitating additional skills training, and then putting them in contact with organisations that are recruiting.
How the Jimma Village is preparing young people for their futureCurrently, in 2016, we are operating SOS Children’s Villages in seven locations across the country. At SOS Children’s Village Jimma, staff prepare children and young people for future employment through a number of activities to help them reach their full potential:
- The programme works on preliminary activities that include talent identification at an early age. The identified talent becomes part of the child’s individual development plan so that the SOS mother and other experts can begin to nurture it
- Invite role models from different disciplines (medicine, engineering, counseling etc.) every summer to explain their profession to help the children choose their career path with understanding
- The programme organises life skill training sessions that broaden the children’s understanding of expected job ethics
Employing those who grew up in an SOS Children’s Village
SOS Children’s Villages Ethiopia has employed eight former SOS children from Harare and Makalle. Apart from seeking employment upon completing school, they also had a desire to be part of the organization’s effort in supporting children without parental care.
Mihiret Gebreyohanes, 41 years old, was raised in SOS Children’s Village Mekele, the oldest SOS Children’s Village in Ethiopia. She was among the first children to be enrolled in the Village. Mihiret became a certified day care educator in 1999 and now teaches at the Village.
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