July 2013 - RET
Over the years, RET has worked on 3 continents and in 23 countries, implementing over 200 projects. With this diversity of experience and the variety of needs to be addressed, it is sometimes hard to decide on the most relevant theme for a newsletter. We therefore took a step back and reflected once again on something displaced young people have been telling us for years: “We do not want assistance, we want to be self-sufficient”. Standing on one’s own two feet is essential for young people, and dignity is often one of the great casualties of displacement. As such, we decided to devote this issue to the theme of employability and livelihoods.
It is often forgotten that education is not a goal in itself; it is a means for concrete improvements in life, creating bridges to opportunities. In situations of displacement and vulnerability, access to sustainable sources of income is one of these measurable improvements, as well as a strong source of protection.
That is why we believe in quality secondary education to develop the skills needed to work and live decently.
We believe in technical and vocational education to bridge the gap to employment.
We believe in tertiary education to build the next generation of leading professionals.
We believe in entrepreneurship training to stabilise family incomes.
We believe there is no autonomy without education.
Unfortunately, the latest Education for All Global Monitoring Report states that around 1 in 5 young people have not even completed primary education. This represents 200 million individuals globally. The needs are here and they are immense.
For over a decade, RET has learned the value of creating a solid secondary education base and building upon it to allow vulnerable young people to gain autonomy. Throughout this newsletter, we hope to illustrate this commitment. Our articles on Kenya, Burundi and Chad will reveal how secondary and tertiary education both contribute to employability and social integration. Latin America will show us how, sometimes, employment is a means for vulnerable young people to continue studying. We will also get a glimpse of how helping entrepreneurs requires fundamentally holistic solutions. Last, but not least, we will take you to Afghanistan, where business trainings are not only a huge factor in the social and economic empowerment of women, but also a significant element of the stabilisation of the entire community.
We hope you will enjoy this issue and that Khadidja, Caline, Fatuma, Mohamed, Sandra and Frijolie will inspire you and leave you optimistic. Optimistic, because despite the growing needs and sometimes discouraging obstacles, displaced young people around the world are demonstrating their capacity to change their lives and the ones of the people around them. One of RET’s most important roles is to provide them with the chance to show the world what they can do!