Earlier this month, WUSC wrapped up a remarkable youth entrepreneurship and employment project in the southern parts of Peru’s capital city, Lima. The initiative was carried out in partnership with UNACEM Association, a social responsibility arm of UNACEM S. A., a Peruvian cement company, and with funding support from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.
Many areas of Lima South are plagued with poverty and unemployment and opportunities for young men and women to enter job training or vocational training programs are few. This means that thousands of youth are trapped and unable to envisage a path towards stable employment and a life out of poverty. This project, Promotion of Youth Entrepreneurship and Employability in Southern Lima, was successful in improving the lives economic status and living conditions of 650 disadvantaged youth from districts such as Villa María del Triunfo, Villa El Salvador, San Juan de Miraflores, Lurín y Pachacámac and significantly enhancing their employability and life prospects.
A ceremony was held on November 13 to mark the successful conclusion of the program that included the presence of Her Excellency Patricia Fortier, Canadian Ambassador to Peru and Bolivia. WUSC and UNACEM presented a manual at the event that documents the successful methods, processes and the lessons learned via the 30-month implementation of this initiative and will serve to inform and encourage other such employability programs. Also present at the ceremony were the General Manager of UNACEM, Armando Casis, WUSC Peru Director Michel Tapiero, Project Direct Rosa Chiappe as well as several young people who spoke about the transformative effect the training opportunity has had on their lives.
As a result of the Promotion of Youth Entrepreneurship and Employability in Southern Lima initiative, more than 500 young women and men from South Lima have trained at renowned vocational and technical training institutes in high-demand areas such as auto care, hospitality, construction, manufacturing and retail. Over 70% of the youth who participated have a good job in the field in which they trained. Additionally, more than 150 young entrepreneurs have strengthened their business and entrepreneurial skills via training tailored to their needs. 62 of them have benefitted from financial aid and investment to reinforce their enterprises, accounting for a total financial injection in their businesses of $ 89,000 CAD.