On 26 November Plan Nederland organised the second network meeting ‘Investing in Girls: a good business!’. Because this is our purpose and that is also the objective of this network. We want to create more and better work for girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 in developing countries. Most of you present signed the ARENA Declaration as a token of this commitment with us on October, 9 2014.
Plan Nederland would like to would like to emphasise why it is so important to help girls and young women get education and decent work. Around the world, 48% of women are excluded from the labour market. In addition, young people in particular have a difficult time finding work. The youth unemployment-and out-of-school rate in developing countries is growing exponentially and is estimated to be 290 million, two out of three are female. Education and decent work are so extremely important because girls and young women who are given this opportunity do not only just work themselves out of poverty, they also have a positive influence on their communities.
With our Youth Economic Empowerment programmes we therefore train these girls and young women to attend targeted vocational training which results in a decent job or entrepreneurship. Our dream is to empower 100,000 young people around the world by 2020, for them to claim their rights and participate fully in the economy, with special attention for girls and young women.
Networking meeting Investing in girls: a good business!
The program was full of interesting speakers: corporate partners Accenture and AkzoNobel, keynotes from KPMG and IKEA and a panel discussion with ASN Bank, Basic Water Needs, Team Relocations and TUI Benelux. At the end there were networking drinks where guest talked about the afternoon and ideas were exchanged. Some already in progress, other in the near future.
Youth Economic Empowerment
Youth unemployment is growing at an exponential rate in developing countries. According to estimates, a staggering 95 million young people will be unemployed by 2016. Consequently, Plan has developed a strategy to tackle unemployment affecting disadvantaged youth.
Plan trains and guides these individuals, especially young women, for a job with a local employer or self-employment. The selected young participants receive a three-month market based vocational training for a job in Marketing, Sales, Customer Relations, Hospitality and Retail. The training features a combination of technical and soft skills, teaching the participants how to present themselves, go through the application process, and work in a team. They also learn computer skills, financial literacy and basic English. And topics like women’s rights and equal pay are part of the soft skill training. The participants also follow an internship with local companies, after which they are guided to a permanent job. The local business community is directly involved in the programme to ensure that training properly suits local market needs. This combination is what makes these programmes successful.
Commitments ARENA Declaration
On 9 October 2014 eight international companies signed the ARENA Declaration. These corporate partners are committed to provide more and decent work for young women (16-24 jaar) in developing countries for 3 years. How do they do that?
Business network Plan Nederland
The network’s main goal is to create jobs for young women in developing countries in cooperation with the Dutch business sector and with support from the Dutch government: 100,000 young women working by 2020! The network was also established in order to share knowledge and best practices, combine strengths, and create awareness about the economic disadvantage faced by women in developing countries and the possibilities for improving their position and local economies.
Separate from the sharing of knowledge and combining strengths in terms of economic security, the business network offers added value through networking opportunities. Plan Nederland has access to a global network of 72 Plan offices and 51 developing countries, local and international networks, NGOs and governments. Plan is also a member of UN Global Compact and is a partner in S4YE (Solutions for Youth Employment), a worldwide network involving the World Bank, Accenture and international NGOs.
Businesses and interested organisations can join the network. An individual
partnership with Plan Nederland is also an option. Plan currently has 12 corporate partners, and is striving to achieve 30 partnerships with international companies by 2020. Plan enjoys building lasting relationships with its partners. For example, Plan Nederland has maintained a partnership with AkzoNobel for over 20 years.
For more information or a personal conversation, please contact
Davina Feeléus, Corporate Partnerships Officer, via +31 (0) 20 549 55 32 or sent an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org