This project offers coaching services as well as seed capital for entrepreneurs with a substantial focus on self-employment. In addition, it addresses awareness and education on sexual and reproductive rights, equality and equity, contributing to the prevention of various types of violence that prevent people from developing fully both personally and professionally.
The department of Alta Verapaz is particularly affected by extreme poverty. The mobile training units have been the key in facilitating access to vocational technical training for indigenous youth and women from rural and peri-urban areas in Alta Verapaz. These mobile units bring all the materials and equipment needed, even the instructor. The training includes courses in gastronomy, confectionery, automobile and motorcycle mechanics, sales, customer service, tourism, carpentry, and electricity. It lasts between 40 and 80 hours and takes place in the communities where the young men and women reside.
Empodera works with the private and public sectors to change the lives of the youth and women of Guatemala. The coaching service for employability and entrepreneurship, as well as the "Employment Kiosks", are two services that have facilitated the inclusion of indigenous youth and women in the job market. These services are provided by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the business sector of Alta Verapaz, training centres, and local organisations, with the support of the Empodera project.
The coach counsellors offer accompaniment, guidance, and support, provide information and facilitate strategic alliances between companies, training centres, and universities, and look for other opportunities that can help the young people with their job search through workshops, awareness raising and information gathering.
Together with the Ministry of Labour, through the National Public Employment Network, facilitated monthly events called "Employment Kiosks". These are mobile fairs that are held in the municipalities of Alta Verapaz, where the different companies are invited to publish their labour demands and, also, give the young people and women from the municipality the opportunity to present their professional offers. This meeting point between the supply and demand sides increases the chances of obtaining a job.
Self-employment initiatives have been a great opportunity for indigenous youth and women in rural and peri-urban areas, especially where there are yet no businesses to provide employment opportunities to this target group. The young graduates of vocational education and training receive advice and business support to build their business models, which allows them to generate income in the short term. Thanks to the seed capital, they are able to make a start on their self-employment. The entrepreneurial activities comprise occupations such as home electrician, basic car maintenance, motorcycle and motorcycle taxi repair, snack and fast-food preparation, party decorations, sewing, weaving, family gardens, poultry production, and beekeeping.
The Wank Sa'tuqtuukilal, “Let's Live in Harmony” campaign has been a mass communication strategy for raising awareness among indigenous men, women, and youth, about their sexual and reproductive rights, as well as for the prevention of violence.
The campaign uses the most inclusive communication channels such as social networks, radio, local TV, and posters, as well as raising awareness among peers through young influencers who want to generate a positive change in their communities by replicating what they have learned and educating other youth groups.
The Empodera project is financed by the Swedish Agency for International Cooperation (SIDA) and implemented by Swisscontact.