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GROW: building youth work that empowers young women

project GROW

Project GROW kicked off in Lagos with a 5-day workshop on how to create strong young women−led youth organisations.

As part of our exciting EU-funded Project GROW, WONDER CEO, Carmen, and Youth Manager, Olive, went to Nigeria to work with women leaders from our partner projects. Over the course of a week, they exchanged ideas with, trained, and learned from over 60 women leading youth projects in Africa. Our partners from South Africa (Komati), Kenya (Kianda Foundation), Nigeria (Women’s Board) and Italy (Porta Nevia) had worked together over several months to discuss the content that would help them to have more impact in their youth projects. 

Youth work, non-formal and informal learning with young people aged under 30, is widely known in Europe, but not yet well understood in Africa. With growing youth populations, and gaps between the knowledge imparted in formal education and schools, and the skills that employers are looking for, building soft skills is essential. Youth work can be a root to this, especially for young people whose families do not have the experience or capacity to prepare their children for the modern formal workplace. 

Young women’s youthwork is also tremendously valuable. Young women face challenges at home, in co-ed schools, travelling each day, and in the workplace. Youth work that provides them with empowering, women-only spaces, gives them the chance to learn in a place where they feel safe, can take on leadership and grow in confidence. 

These themes, alongside practical issues relating to high-quality, sustainable youth work- safeguarding, fundraising, project management, and supporting volunteers – were all explored. The learning is being written up and will be shared as part of the project.

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