New projects from Eastern Europe to Asia

In the first half of the year, Swisscontact received new mandates for project implementation on various continents. We would like to briefly introduce four of them: in Ukraine, we are developing the training of plumbers in partnership with the Swiss company Geberit and SDC. In Bolivia, we are promoting new models of waste separation and the disposal of industrial waste. And in the crisis-stricken and unstable regions of Myanmar and Mali, we are creating economic and professional prospects for the local people.

Ukraine: Market-oriented training for plumbers

The quality of the vocational training system in Ukraine does not meet international standards. The private sector, however, is growing rapidly. As a result, there is a shortage of qualified workers - and this at a time when companies have to compete in the European market and meet European standards.

Swisscontact works with various local training institutions to modernise the training of plumbers so that they meet the requirements of the world of work once their training is complete.

The project is financed by Geberit AG and the SDC. "The project was initiated by the Swiss private sector and is a good example of a public-private partnership that will hopefully set a precedent," says Florian Meister, Director Operations & Quality at Swisscontact.

Less waste in Bolivia

In Bolivia, half of the waste ends up in open landfills, which pollute waters and the environment. A new project is promoting recycling in Bolivia's cities so that the mountains of waste do not continue to grow. Swisscontact is developing a model of integrated waste management for the city of La Paz with 800 000 inhabitants and is implementing it in collaboration with public and private partner organisations. Thus, fewer pollutants are released into the environment and the health of the population is improved. Recycled raw materials are processed locally, which reduces imports and boosts local added value. This gives people the opportunity to integrate sustainable and environmentally friendly practices into their business activities, which, in turn, creates jobs. 

Swisscontact is implementing this project together with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation (Lead) and the Aguatuya Foundation. It is financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Jobs and income in the poorest state of Myanmar

Chin is the poorest state of Myanmar. The poverty rate is 73 per cent. The state is only accessible via a dilapidated road, which is exposed to the whims of the weather during the monsoon and winter seasons. More than half of the people who are fit for work are employed abroad or in the country's major cities. Remittances make up the main contribution to the local economy.

Against this challenging background, Swisscontact creates urgently needed jobs and income opportunities in agriculture and other sectors. One of the aims of the project is to stimulate investment from the private sector and from the diaspora in China. The project team is able to draw on experiences from other projects that Swisscontact has implemented in similar contexts in the past.

This project is financed by the "Livelihood and Food Security Fund" (LIFT), a joint development fund of UK Aid, EU, Australian Aid, SDC, USAID, Canada and Irish Aid. Swisscontact is implementing the project in partnership with Mercy Corps (Lead) and the International Water Management Institute.

Mali: Career prospects in Timbuktu and Gao

The situation in the north and centre of Mali is still very unstable. In addition to greater security, young people urgently need prospects for their future. With the implementation of a new vocational training project in the regions of Timbuktu and Gao, Swisscontact is also contributing to the stabilisation in the region and strengthening the resilience of the communities. 

As part of a larger programme, Swisscontact is promoting the vocational training and employability of men and women between the ages of 15 and 40. Well-founded market studies pave the way to promoting short-term training courses as well as vocational education and training, which will ultimately lead to integration into the labour market. In addition, Swisscontact is developing a platform for vocational orientation and integration ("Dispositif d'Orientation et d'Insertion Professionnelle", DOIP), which will have 12 branches. These offices will help young people in their search for training and employment. Swisscontact has been supporting vocational training in Mali for over 25 years. 

This project is financed by the EU. For the implementation of this project, Swisscontact works closely with LuxDev (Lead).