SOS Children’s Villages, Hyderabad, has been training 287 vulnerable youth in the city from poor socio-economic background since the last one year in various job-oriented courses to enable them to get gainful employment in the formal economy. As many as 207 of those who completed their training program have been successfully placed in regular jobs in the last six months, giving them a steady source of income.
The youth, including 147 boys and 140 girls aged 18—25 years, are school and college drop-outs from Hyderabad’s slums who could not complete their education due to financial constraints. They enrolled in courses that range from six months to one year in duration, including Computer Applications with Financial Accounting, Advanced Diploma in Air Ticketing & Travel Management, Supply Chain Management, Fire Engineering and Safety Management, and Medical Lab Technician and Multi-Purpose Health Worker. HSBC Software Development (India) is supporting this youth skilling project in Hyderabad.
Empowering the youth is a key focus area of SOS Children’s Villages. The aim is to lift marginalized families out of poverty so that child abandonment can be reduced. Commenting on youth engagement as a broader agenda, Sudarshan Suchi, Secretary General of SOS Children’s Villages of India, said, “Skill development is a powerful instrument to reduce poverty and inequality in the society. Our focus is to work with young people and help them channelize their energies into a positive direction. We prepare them for employment and entrepreneurship-linked skill development so that they can earn a living with dignity. We identify and mobilize young people from marginalized families such as migrants who could not continue their formal education due to financial reasons. In this pursuit, we not only empower young people with skills but also invest in creating confidence in them with a structured youth engagement programme. I am happy to note that a large percentage of young people who completed their training courses in Hyderabad have entered the formal job market. It has been particularly helpful for them and their families in the current times of crisis.”
Sudarshan Suchi added: “India is today the world’s youngest country, with an average age of 29 years. In our comprehensive approach, we focus on providing an end-to-end solution for the youth. This includes mapping their aspirations and existing skills with market needs, combined with suitable training programme and job placement. Thousands of youth all over India have benefited from our programs and several corporate and institutions are our proud partners in this journey of nation building.”
The Case of Neha
20-year-old Neha (name changed to protect privacy) hails from a family of daily wage laborers in Hyderabad. Her father’s income was never sufficient to meet their daily needs. She completed her 10+2 from a local Government school but her father could not afford to educate her anymore and got her married off. Her aspiration to study further thus could not be fulfilled and she became a full-time home maker. However, her desire to stand on her own feet and be able to support her children’s education in future made her determined to look for job opportunities. Her husband works as a TV mechanic and earns Rs. 400-500 daily.
During the feasibility study for the HSBC Youth Skilling Project, the team came across Neha’s family. After knowing her aspirations, the team convinced her husband to let her enroll in a vocational training course. Finally, she joined a six-month diploma course in “Pattern Master” at Apparel Training and Design Center. After successful completion of the course, Neha has now got a job at an apparel showroom in the city at a monthly salary of Rs 14,500, effectively doubling her family’s income. She is now full of confidence for the future and feels she will be able to give good education to her children in future.
The Case of Zainab
20-year-old Zainab (name changed to protect privacy) has studied till 12th standard. The youngest among three children, she lost her father in childhood and since then, her mother has been taking care of the family. Zainab’s brother started a fast-food stall to meet the family’s expenses, earning a daily income of Rs 500 and barely able to meet their daily needs. Investing on higher studies or professional courses was never an option for her. But Zainab, like a few of her friends, wished to continue her studies and do a job.
With support from the HSBC Youth Skilling project, she joined a diploma course in “Multi-Purpose Health Worker” from Professional Evaluation and Certification Board in Hyderabad. After its successful completion, she recently managed to secure a job at a city hospital at a monthly salary of Rs 10,000. During the recent lockdown, when her brother lost his livelihood and found it difficult to meet daily expenses, Zainab’s salary helped the family tide through the crisis. Zainab is proud of her job and her family is justifiably proud of her!