In West Darfur, Sudan, most young people from rural areas are school drop-outs who do traditional farm work. Young women from rural areas are the most vulnerable group as girls’ education is not a priority in most rural communities. In addition, limited mobility and negative social stereotypes mean girls and young women have very few opportunities to get jobs and sustain themselves.
Following the success of a youth employability project in White Nile State and Kassla where hundreds of young people were trained and gained access to job opportunities, Plan International Sudan expanded the project in West Darfur.
The Basic Employability Skills Training project, run alongside the Sudanese Businessmen and Employers Federation and the Ministry of Social Affairs has reached 413 youths so far, comprising of 163 males and 250 females.
They have gained skills on marketing, basic accounting, using computers, repairing mobile phones, baking, making sweets, hair dressing, savings and loans, and small businesses development.
In Sirba, 2 groups of 32 young people that received training in baking started running their business after joining village savings and loans groups where they secured loans that they have used to begin producing sweets. They work in 2 shifts and share the preparation, production, marketing and selling tasks. The groups now make weekly average sales of over SDG 2,000 (€300) each and are expanding their sales into neighbouring communities.
Many of the other young people who have graduated from the project are now running their own businesses such as restaurants, shops or repairing mobile phones. Their income has meant they have become self-sufficient and has helped their families with education, healthcare and other basic needs.