While in Switzerland most schoolchildren and students are currently benefiting from time off school, in the poorer regions of the world there are still young people who have never had the benefit of schooling in their lives.
To be precise, there are 102 million young people! 225 million young people are inactive, that is, neither in education nor in employment or training. Education is the foundation for a sustainable improvement in the quality of life. Poor families, who have no other choice for monetary reasons, often rely on the additional work of their children. When children work, they have to forego their education and therefore usually remain in poverty in the long term. This vicious circle continues for several generations. We break this cycle by working with our local partner organizations in Palestine, Colombia, South Sudan, Haiti and Uganda to promote educational opportunities for disadvantaged young people. In doing so, we put a specific focus on four different areas, as presented in previous articles.
Building life skills
One of these areas is building life skills, which is one of the areas being promoted in Südsudan. Life skills are competencies acquired through non-formal education in practical life areas, such as communication, critical thinking, stress management, and healthy lifestyles. These skills make it easier for the youth in our programs to cope with their difficult living conditions. In this way, they can choose a more peaceful future free from illegal activities and problematic addictions.
Workshops in this area supported, for example, Ngbarago Monica Raphael from Yambio in South Sudan. She lives with her parents and siblings in Yambio and is a proud member of the YWCA. Earlier, she hardly knew how to deal with her menstruation and used a piece of cloth to catch her bleeding. Ashamed that her period might run into her school uniform, she then stayed away from school for several days each month. Through workshops on these topics, Ngbarago Monica Raphael learned, for example, how to deal with her menstruation and the consequences of teenage pregnancy for a young woman's future life. In addition, the young woman gained more self-confidence and can now confidently join in the discussion without being nervous or ashamed.