We aim to establish mechanisms that permit the inclusion of the poorest people in the economy, building conditions that allow them to escape poverty and extreme poverty. So far we have enabled around 1,200 poor and extremely poor adolescents and young people who did not have access to formal education, particularly young women, to develop personal and social skills such as self-esteem, self-confidence, rights, responsibilities, perseverance, savings, planning, budgets, taking advantage of information and opportunities.
Tambogrande, in Piura, is one of the areas where we have worked in partnership with communities to implement the ‘Strengthening entrepreneurial skills in at-risk teenagers’ project. The scheme was run by children and teenagers who are part of Plan International’s Youth Advisory Council in Piura. Children in the council have developed social skills, have gained knowledge about children’s rights and have learned to elaborate development proposals. Thus the mayor, councillors, leaders of small villages and representatives of local civil society decided to invest 17,700 dollars in the council scheme.
“This is a great achievement,” said Lilian Cabrera, Programme Manager of Plan International in Piura. “Children themselves are advocating and influencing public policies, they are strengthening their capacities, and they are making themselves heard,”
The project will be implemented by the Tambogrande Municipality at the beginning of 2016. For nine months, teenagers from the region, especially those in risk situations, who are out of the school system or teenage mothers, will receive training in social and entrepreneurial skills. The final purpose of the project is that the teenagers are able to develop a life plan, a business plan and to enter the employment market.
“Highways are built all the time, but the government never invests in developing skills in children and teenagers,” said Pierina, one of the members of Plan International’s Youth Council.
Jhon, another member of the Youth Council, remarked: “Poverty is not a good excuse to not take ownership of your own life. In the Council, we have been able to help ourselves and help others in an organized way.”