"I always wanted to have my own business, and it came true just now"
The project in brief
The project is implemented by Finn Church Aid (FCA) Jordan. It began in 2017 and is currently ongoing.
The main approach of our program is to provide a series of trainings to youth accompanied with long mentoring and coaching until they are able to sustain their income.
It's goal is to sustain livelihoods for refugees and local youth!
Main activities of the Good Practice
The first step is setting the exact, and firm, criteria for selecting the ones who most need our support, and those who show high level of seriousness and commitment. Career Guidance & Counseling sessions follow to enable them to choose the employment/ self-employment paths depending on their capacities and interest. Each pathway receives specialized TVET training. The ones who undergo the employment path are linked with employment opportunities. Those who choose the Entrepreneurship track receive the entrepreneurship training associated with financial grants. Both tracks are mentored for 6 to 12 months ensuring they continue along the track and supporting them with other career/business development services. This approach is linked with awareness raising sessions, protection activities to the families members. Gender is a main aspect of our program. Actually more than 75% of our beneficiaries are female. Capacity building for the government and other authorities is ongoing as well ensuring our localization approach.
Elements which helped facilitate the implementation of the good practice
The quality of our work. The accumulated capacities of our staff who are experienced in the targeted areas where we work and have years-experience in supporting youth. The sectors we are working in are the ones who have great viable for youth to work : agriculture and Circular Economy.
We work mainly with local partners for several reasons: (1) they have the outreach and can easily gain the trust of the communities, (2) are experienced in the technical sector, (3) sustain the program after the project exits. We work with private sector companies (the demand side of the labour market), academia, who have the science and knowledge, CBOs who are widely acceptable by the communities.
What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?
- In order to achieve these goals, multi-year projects are needed. Donors need to understand that it is not a one-shot activity. This is a life conversion process. it requires fund and time. therefore, we are continuing the discussions and advocacy towards the development donors to grasp the idea.
- Sometimes the info provided by the applicants are not true... therefore a number of verification exercises are done.
- Youth do not know what exactly do they want. that's why we always start with the CGC.
- Unfortunately, male youth are less committed to the opportunities they get. we need to find a way to sustain the support despite the lack of commitment they show after months of support.
Results of the Good Practice
They have dramatically changed.. when the breadwinner of the family has seasonal work, some days they have food on the table and some days they don't. With our support, we enabled them to start up a micro business and make the other adults in the family to run it, this way they were able to cover some of the gaps.
In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
Unemployment rate in Jordan is quite high. Such programming enables the civic society organizations to bridge the gaps between the demand and supply approaches. This way, the pressure on the government is slightly eased.
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
Our project does not only support refugee youth, but also local youth who are living in the same areas, same life conditions, same poor services and same challenges. The support to refugees is limited by some legal limitations, so our approach tries to provide this support to the refugees without putting them in any negative hassles.
This approach is the main pillar of our program and strategy. we insist on continuing it as it has proved its benefits. An impact evaluation was done in summer 2023 to the businesses supported in 2019/20/21/22 and revealed that 74% of those businesses are still up and running. The main reason for that sustainability is, "the intensive training and the recurrent mentoring visits done showed me the opportunities and gaps of my business, now i can run it on my own"... and many other have grown their businesses and even employed other youth.
Are there areas in which support would be required to continue and/or scale up your good practice?
Yes, the trainees are always asking for certificates and accredited trainings, especially the refugees who at some point may go back to their homeland.