• Kayode from Nigeria, who leads a team of young people between the ages of 18 and 35 at the organization, Joint Initiative for Development, expressed concern that:
“Nigeria's unemployment figure stands at 21 per cent, with youths forming the largest percentage… Nigeria stands to benefit from a huge number of young [people in the] workforce in the next 30 years if, and only if, these youths are engaged effectively and given opportunities. Currently, the number of graduates turned out from our institution is growing […in] negative proportion to the number of available jobs. The private sector is unsatisfied with the quality of graduates.”
• Nanteza, 26, from Uganda is with the National Youth Empowerment Network. She works with young people to help them “sustain themselves and [emerge from] poverty.” Among the various undertakings of the network are the Wagari Girls project, Kakunyu brick making project, a nursery and primary school and a soccer academy. Nanteza told us:
“The Wagari Girls project was started to empower the girl child […through developing] various skills such as making tablecloths, mats, beads, cards, polythene bags, baskets, necklaces and bangles. And the Kakunyu brick making project was started to help the young men and boys in this village. This project has taught the boys various skills such as making bricks, tiles and ventilators out of clay. The project involved 15 boys, […who] sold 20,000 bricks… One of the young boys of this project, Richard... has started making his own bricks and he is in the final stages of the process.”
• Amadou, 24, from Senegal shared that he has co-created – with a group of students – an association called "Action-Etudiant pour la Petite Enfance" (Student Action for Early Childhood).The main objective of this association is to support a rural nursery school near the university. Amadou collects money to buy notebooks, books and pencils for the children. He also organizes entertainment activities for the children such as the annual “Holiday for Hope,” and, in 2010, he organized a medical visit for rural children who lacked medical care. Through collaboration with the university hospital, these children are now being treated at no cost.