2nd Global Summit for Youth Employment Boca del Río, Veracruz Norman Bellino, FAO Representative Interagency Programme for the Empowerment of Adolescent Women in El Salvador 5 October, 2004 Description of Project • The purpose is to assist adolescent young women in El Salvador. • This project was developed in collaboration with four other UN • • • • agencies (WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP), due to the high levels of sexual abuse and violence and poverty after the 12year civil war (ending in 1992) and the 2001 earthquake. FAO’s role is to train and organize village groups to implement non-traditional income-generating activities. A comprehensive youth development approach is used to enable adolescent young women gain the necessary skills, knowledge and experience they need to develop agricultural production projects and non-farm, rural-based small enterprises. This three-year project is just beginning. The education and training component incorporates life skills development and emphasizes hands-on, activity-based learning. Project Cycle • The project includes five mayor components: – – – – – Building community support systems; Leadership development; Education and training; Village youth group organization; and Production projects leading to income-generation. • FAO has organized groups, which will receive a grant of a maximum of US $ 8,000 to start income-generating activities. • Each village youth group must prepare a proposal (business plan) identifying the activity they would like to pursue; costs and expected returns; and market perspectives. • Based on a field trip to the National Agricultural School, one group of girls decided to raise quail eggs and the other to purchase milk from a local dairy producer to make and sell cheese. What are the results? • 13 pilot communities in El Salvador, all single mothers, range in age from 13 to 18 years, are being benefited with a grant to start income-generating activities. • YES Framework for Action: This project involves at least 5 Es: Employability, Employment Creation, Equity, Entrepreneurship and Empowerment. • A formal agreement is signed between the National Centre for Agricultural Technology and Forestry (CENTA) to provide general support to the formation and maintenance of the village youth groups, as well as technical assistance for the production projects. • In areas where CENTA does not operate, NGOs have been identified to provide this same level of support. Challenges and lessons learnt • Even though youth make up a large segment of the total rural population, they are largely neglected by government policy makers and intentional development agencies. • Resources invested in programmes, projects and activities for youth, such as this example, have both immediate and long term benefits in helping young people become active, productive and contributing citizen of their respective countries.