Craftsmanship: Girls’ Weapon to Defeat Unemployment in Informal Areas
October 29, 2015 in General

Zamzam Soliman, a young lady less than 30-year old, joyfully participated with 300 young men and women of similar age in a large celebration organized by Think and Do Development Foundation”. Under No for Unemployment slogan, Zamzam told her success story against unemployment and poverty by practising a profession to provide for herself.

She said before all the audience “I am so happy! I do not know how to express my happiness. I do not believe that I have a profession to protect me from destitution and provide for a dignified life. I acknowledge before you all that I have a blessing: I consider the grant provided by Think and Do a blessing from heaven. We were desperate because nobody felt our presence amidst the crowds (which promoted some people and was unfair to others). Finally, there was someone to train me on hairdressing. I loved this profession for more than twenty years. Now, I open my hairdresser shop, which generates income to raise my family’s financial level.”

Zamzam was among 300 young men and women who joined “No for unemployment” project, implemented by “Think and Do Development Foundation”, in cooperation with GIZ and funded by the European Union (EU).

The project manager, Emile Nasim, indicated that the project focused on young men and women in Ain Shams, Cairo, and Warraq, Giza. The project conducted a field assessment for labour market needs for various professions. The project was promoted in cooperation with Ministry of Social Solidarity and the Regional Union in Cairo to attract young people and train them on these professions. Furthermore, the graduates were employed in 150 job opportunities. The other 150 trainees received tool kits of the professions on which they were trained such as hairdressing, tailoring, photocopying, mobile phones, etc. to become entrepreneurs. Accordingly, the youth income level increased, poverty and unemployment rates decreased, and, in turn, drug addiction, terrorism and crime rates decreased which would enhance productivity and national income. Most importantly, the project succeeded in creating job opportunities to support youth stability in their cities, reduce random migration, whether internally or externally, and fulfill the labor market demand on skilled labor.

Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Think and Do Foundation, Medhat Shafeeq, asserted the project sustainability in providing the same service to youth, even after project end. Field follow-up for graduates in their work places, either as employees or entrepreneurs is organized in order to check workflow, overcome any obstacle, and provide technical and administrative counselling. This can be done by trainers through workshops held by the Foundation. In addition, the trainees are introduced to the ethics of each profession to successfully interact with clients.

Mr. Medhat Shafeeq mentioned that since Foundation establishment in 2005 by Dr. Tawfeeq George, who is an expert in social and development work, it has been focusing on combating unemployment and youth employment. Workshops are organised to provide training on crafts such as hairdressing, barbering, mobile phone maintenance, tailoring, English language, computer, and women’s accessories. In addition there is an employment office inside the foundation that provides job opportunities for graduates, to develop youth mentally, socially and vocationally and enable them to fulfil their needs. Indeed, the foundation has trained and employed 7163 young men and women till 2015.

GIZ Advisor, Ms. Hala Morgan, who represents the EU-funded Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas, has mentioned that PDP works on improving education, health, environment, and youth employability in Egypt, in participation with the civil society and government institutions. “No to Unemployment” project is implemented by Think and Do foundation, through providing technical support to train youth on necessary technical skills. Training methods do not only include learning about a profession or craft, but also focus on marketing, planning and feasibility study skills. Thus youth will be able to find job opportunities, in conformity with the state’s plan for serving youth and community.

A true and realistic story of the young people who said no to unemployment is the story of Neema Wasfy Salam. She excelled in hairdressing thanks to trainers from the foundation. She is able to start her hairdressing shop, and before that she has been used to go to clients in their houses. Emil Hakeem excelled in tailoring for men and women. He is trained on taking measurements, drawing patterns, and technical handling of the sewing machine. He is in competition with his colleague Asmaa Ismail. Fahmy Mohamed Fahmy excelled in computer maintenance, thanks to his trainer Maged Azmy from Think and Do.

Original article: http://www.ahram.org.eg/NewsQ/444387.aspx

European Union German Cooperation GIZ Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements