Sana'a, Yemen -- The United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Vocational and Business Skills Training and Support Project concluded training of 64 community business advisors, half of whom were women. The trained advisors will deliver technical and business advisory services for 1,035 Yemeni youth in four governorates -- Dhamar, Hadhramaut, Ibb and Lahj.
Funded by the King Salman Humanitarian and Aid Relief Center (KSrelief), the US$ 3,000,000 partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implemented by the Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service (SMEPS) to help improve Yemeni livelihoods and access to productive services.
"The Project aims to empower young rural women and men with vocational, technical and business skills, and nurture a culture of entrepreneurship among them, enhancing their employability and productive engagement in local economic recovery," says Ms. Tracy Vienings, UNDP Project Manager.
Currently one-in-four Yemenis have lost their job, and more are underemployed. "Many are barely able to make ends meet," adds Farouk Al-Salihi, UNDP Project Coordinator. "This project is designed to help bridge the skills gap - restoring access to vocational training after years of conflict."
The successful trainings have introduced theoretical and practical knowledge in three main areas:
- Agro-business and excess food processing: 33 food technologists (26 of whom were women) built their knowledge on excess food processing, reducing post-harvest losses and ensuring food availability during more lean seasons.
- Textiles and handloom skills: 30 consultants (6 of whom were women) were educated on how to run successful businesses, evaluating their strengths areas that may need improvement, and reviewing workflow models and mechanisms of all project stages.
- Business planning, management, and business advisory skills: 64 business advisors (half of whom were women) were trained to create business plans, business management implementation, and acquiring the techniques and skills of providing professional business advisory services.
The agro-business training is designed to provide youth with valuable skills in utilizing excess food and avoiding common mistakes. A trainee consultant, Ms. Fatima Al-Eryani, provides an example of how the training will assist the youth. "It will help livestock breeders not only get milk from cows, but also make yogurt to sell. It will also help farmers make excellent use of vegetable surplus as they can either preserve excess food or start processing it into other products like pickles, mayonnaise or jam," she says. "Plus they can sell it to improve their income."
"The technical and business training, coupled with financial grants, will ensure that more employment opportunities are created and sustained. Linking Yemenis to prospects of micro-finance will motivate the expansion of the micro-economy and stimulate replication", says Anwar Masood, SMEPS Programmes and Projects Director.
All training activities have been undertaken with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Awareness brochures were also distributed in the local community to raise awareness of COVID-19 protection measures to encourage the regular use of personal protective equipment and social distancing.
About the project:
*The Vocational and Business Skills Training and Support Project is funded by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Center (KSrelief) and implemented in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service (SMEPS). The US$ 3,000,000 project helps improve Yemeni livelihoods and access to productive services through provision of training and support in: agro-business and food processing, textiles and handloom, in additional to technical skills (carpentry, and maintenance of cars, cellphones and appliances). The project also provides the beneficiaries with training on business planning and management.*
Leanne Rios (Leanne.firstname.lastname@example.org): UNDP Yemen Team Lead, Communications and Advocacy