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Does Swaziland Need a Job Training Program?

Does Swaziland Need a Job Training Program?

By Alyssa and Dustin Anderson

In order to develop an effective Economic Empowerment program for Children’s Cup sponsored teens in Swaziland, it is imperative that we have the full support of the community and caretakers of sponsored children. Children’s Cup interviewed current sponsored students age 16 and over, former sponsored students that departed or graduated and caretakers of sponsored students. The interview process is an integral part of developing an effective program to not only determine the community’s desire for such a program but also gather data that will help us build an effective job training program. After interviewing students and caretakers at eight CarePoints, results revealed needs and many challenges faced by Swazi natives on a regular basis.

Challenges to Finding a Job

Discovering the barriers to finding a job is an important question to ask when building a program to help CarePoint teens find secure work after graduation. The Caretakers interviewed had many responses regarding the challenges of finding work in their country, which included the following:

  • Limited jobs
  • Lack of affordable job training
  • Dropping out of high school or no money to pay school fees
  • Lack of work ethic
  • No money to pay for university or no access to scholarships

According to a 2010 Labor Forcer Survey, the unemployment rate for Swazis 15-24 years old is 64%. Most often the work that is found for Swazis in this age range is referred to as “piece work” which only provides intermittent work for little pay and is not enough to sustain a family or individual.

Supporting a Family

To identify the community needs of each CarePoint we asked caretakers if they were currently supporting their families financially. In Swaziland, it’s not uncommon for families of four, five, six or more to live in a one bedroom flat. Results were unanimous. 100% of caretakers expressed that they are unable to take care of their family’s needs financially. Out of the respondents, 79% did not finish high school, an important pre-requisite to obtaining a job in Swaziland.

Support for a Job Training Program

Although, a job training program for high school students will need to take into account extracurricular activities and chores at home, all students responded that they would attend. According to the interviews, both sponsored and previously sponsored students place a high value on learning how to prepare for joining the workforce when they graduate high school.

Children’s Cup also spent four weeks interviewing local Swazi businesses to determine market needs. The results from these interviews were eye-opening, revealing character and leadership development to be some of the most important needs in the communities in which ‘Cup operates.

Swaziland is faced with many challenges. The new Economic Empowerment program will teach teens to dream, grow and learn life skills before graduating high school. With a basic understanding of these important lessons, a teen in Swaziland has the opportunity to be the catalyst to change generations of poverty and hopelessness in their family.