It is never too late for change
Youth livelihood programming in Ethiopia
Eyasu, 24, is a resident of Yalo Lala village, Loma woreda, Dawro zone of SNNPR. He recently graduated from a nearby Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college in auto-mechanics. With little experience in the field of study, Eyasu was not sure where to start to be a self-employed person in his field. He worked at three places in unrelated fields to make ends meet but never stopped searching for his dream job. He had often times reached out to different people and agencies for advice and this is when he found out about POTENTIAL.
Eyasu wasn't sure how this program could help him; but after attending the training sessions provided by POTENTIAL, he quickly realized that he was in good hands. He attended a work readiness and basic entrepreneurship training whereby he was able to learn how to get ready to start a business and become his own boss. He also received tremendous support from his trainers/coaches who helped him realize the available opportunities in his surroundings.
Eyasu runs a spare parts shop that sales parts for all kinds of vehicles in the central market site of the tiny town.
Assisted by his coaches, he established a good link with the local microfinance office and enquired about the loan criteria. Considering his technical and psychological readiness, he was granted to receive a loan of 150,000 Ethiopian Birr (5,520 USD) from the special revolving credit facility of Omo micro finance institute. "For the very first time in years, I began to think creatively and outside the box, most importantly opening myself up to other possibilities and this became the turning point in my life and career", he recalls proudly.
Currently, he runs a spare parts shop of his own that sales parts for all kinds of vehicles in the central market site of the tiny town. He also owns a workshop where he and four other youths are providing maintenance service to long distance trucks. Not only has he become an inspiring friend, he has also been able to create jobs for them too. “Now I am able to change my life for good and also support my family and friends” Eyasu says. He has become a role model for most youth in the village. He is also serving as a mentor for the trainees of the Activity. “I always encourage other youth to attend the training and get themselves employed. I keep telling them it is not too late for change”, Eyasu says. Several youths are waiting in line to take part in the upcoming training programs.
The youth comprise to close to a third of the population in Ethiopia, with over one million people on the move annually through the rural to urban migration. Save the Child has for the last five years, implemented programmes aimed at addressing the livelihood needs of the youth in both rural and urban settings.