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YOUTHCAN! Global Partnership for Youth Employability

Johannesburg – On 1 March 2017, SOS Children’s Villages will launch its lighthouse project “YouthCan!”- a global partnership of civil society and corporates with the ambition to support young people to successfully manage the transition to independent adulthood.

YouthCan! is an opportunity for young people who are at risk of losing parental care and who have lost parental care to become ready for the job market and lead successful independent lives. In most countries, these young people are facing social and economic exclusion and as a result, they have limited opportunities to access and apply their talents to the labour market.
In South Africa, research points to the fact that it is not a shortage of jobs but rather a shortage of work ready skills that are needed. Almost 48% of the young people in South Africa are unemployed. There are many youth employment initiatives in South Africa and yet the statistics remain staggering.

“YouthCan! brings together a range of experts on youth development from both civil society and the private sector. We combine our expertise and networks to ensure that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds become contributing members of our society,” said Stephen Miller, National Director for SOS Children’s Villages South Africa.

“SOS Children’s Villages takes a long-term approach to child care and development. In alternative care settings, or through direct support to families in the community, we try to put children on the path to self-reliance. YouthCan! then builds on this approach by providing these children with exposure to a real working environment, and access to role-models and mentors. So instead of a once-off intervention, SOS Children’s Villages and the YouthCan! programme provide continuous support to individuals throughout their childhood, ultimately helping to make them more employable when they leave the care of SOS Children’s Villages,” continued Miller.

Through partnerships with corporates and support partners, SOS Children’s Villages aims to increase its impact in the lives of the children under their care around the world whilst actively contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and effectively working to reduce youth unemployment.

The global launch will be taking place at Hotel Balalaika in Sandton, and start at 13:00.
Registration for media will be from 12:00 at the hotel.
Speakers will include: Mr Norbert Meder, CEO for SOS Children’s Villages International; Stephen Miller, National Director for SOS Children’s Villages South Africa; Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation; and corporate partners.