24-year-old Japhet Deus and 23-year-old Sandari Malima are both school dropouts living in Tanzania. Japhet completed primary school several years ago but did not qualify for further studies while Sandari’s parents did not have enough resources to allow him to proceed with his education.
They are both beneficiaries of Swisscontact’s Learn, Earn and Save (U-LEARN) Project. The skills development project focusses on alleviating young people out of poverty by establishing linkages with available employment opportunities. Ordinarily, many youths in rural areas engage in odd jobs to be able to live comfortably and provide basic needs for their families.
Japhet received the career guidance and counselling training that was facilitated by Swisscontact. He chose to join the welding and fabrication sector due to the high demand of products from this sector in his council. Through the training, he was equipped with diverse skills and learnt how to make various items such as doors, windows and iron tools. He is currently 1 of the 25 youths receiving on-the- job training at CBM Furniture Mart in Geita Town Council. He earns an income of approximately CHF 45 - 68 per month and manages to save CHF 22 monthly using a mobile money application. Japhet has improved his expertise in welding and fabrication and is now planning to open his own company which will help him increase his income and train more youth in the same field.
‘I am grateful that Swisscontact is implementing the U-Learn II project. I have acquired skills that have enabled me to earn income and comfortably attend to my medical bills, buy food and support my parents and my younger sisters’
Before going through the skills training, Sandari used to engage in food vending and part-time construction work and earned very little a day. He heard about the U-Learn project and joined with the aim of learning a skill and increasing his chances of earning a stable income. After the career guidance session, Sandari chose to undergo brick making training. For the past 3 months, he has been working as a supporting masonry at a small and medium-sized enterprise called “Adios 8”. From the on-the-job attachment, he is able to earn CHF 11 per week. The increase in cash flow has helped him address his family’s needs. He is an active member of his learning group and dreams of being competent in masonry and eventually building a house for his family.
“Before joining the Swisscontact U-Learn project, I aspired to live in Mwanza and become a food vendor in the city. After I underwent the training, I was able to visualize the idea of learning a new skill that could open up greater opportunities. I decided to stay and work in Bunda as the sector demand here overrides the service supply.”