SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka launches YouthCan ! | Sunday Observer

SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka launches YouthCan !

18 February, 2018
Corporate partners pledging to support SOS Children
Corporate partners pledging to support SOS Children

SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka launched YouthCan! at the Water’s Edge, Battaramulla recently. It is a global partnership between the corporate and partners, which aims at addressing youth unemployment, providing support and tools needed to help youth prepare for the job market. YouthCan! will assist youth in both, home based care and Family Strengthening Programs of SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka.

Youth unemployment is a major issue in Sri Lanka with 22.2% of the youth between the ages 15 – 24 awaiting employment, while age group 25 – 29 indicate an unemployment rate of 8.3% as per the Department of Census and Statistics. Many youth in Sri Lanka possess technical skills or appropriate academic qualification for a job but lack the soft skills to convert knowledge into a profession. YouthCan! addresses the issue by giving youth the opportunity to apply their talents to the labour market. SOS together with corporate partners such as, Singer Sri Lanka, HHLL, AIA Insurance, Chevron Lubricants, Elephant House, Arpico, Galadari Hotel, Prima Ceylon Pvt Ltd., Britol, Mitsubishi Corporation, Keells Super, Taj Hotels, Access Engineering, Diamond Cutters, HNB, BOI, ABC Pvt Ltd, Ramada Hotel, Micro Cars Ltd and DHL signed agreements pledging to support the youth of SOS.

SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka will support youth by providing them with hands-on experience in a real working environment, access to role models and mentors, entrepreneurship training and skills sharing.

Speaking on this initiative, Ananda B. Karunarathne, National Director, SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka said, “The transition into the labour market and becoming self-reliant remains a challenge for young people across the globe and particularly daunting for those who cannot count on the networks, resources and guidance of their own families. Through YouthCan! we want to make sure our youth, whether in the care of an SOS family or in a family struggling to cope, are prepared to make the leap to independent living”.

This network of SOS Children’s Villages, builds on the expertise of all partners in the area of youth employability with a holistic approach. All partners make use of their expertise, network and experience to create new avenues and opportunities for young people to transition successfully into professional life. The aim is to enable them to become self-supporting and contributing members of society.

YouthCan ! has been launched at SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Nigeria, Brazil, Colombia, Rwanda and Jordan in 2017 with 10 more countries including Sri Lanka planned for 2018.

Six SOS Children’s Villages have been in existence in Sri Lanka for over 36 years, in Piliyandala, Galle, Nuwara-Eliya, Anuradhapura, Monaragala and Jaffna serving more than 41,000 children.