YouthCan! is a global partnership which supports young people who have lost parental care or are at risk of losing it to successfully transition from school to decent work and an independent life. It aims to empower young people through strengthening their employability skills and networks and thereby increasing their chances of finding employment. By providing individualised training, job shadowing opportunities, internships and mentoring, YouthCan! gives participants the skills and knowledge they need to enter the labour market.
While a partnership approach was already a central element of YouthCan!, SOS Children’s Villages International and SOS Children’s Villages Latin America and the Caribbean (LAAM) identified the need to further develop their MSP capacities for better achieving the programme objectives. Therefore, in 2020-2021, YouthCan! supported by Partnerships2030, analysed its partnership efforts with a view to finding ways to enhance YouthCan!´s multi-stakeholder approach. One conclusion was that the provision of capacity building to SOS Children’s Villages staff involved in implementing YouthCan! was necessary.
The capacity building programme strengthened the MSP expertise of YouthCan! coordinators and supporting staff in three selected pilot countries (Brazil, Mexico and El Salvador) by equipping them with skills on building and maintaining MSPs, such as change management, moderation and facilitation skills.
The implementation included a kick-off meeting with all participants, stakeholder mapping, trainings on MSPs, training and preparation of Joint Activity Planning Workshops, sharing of practices between participating countries and additional, customized trainings based on the needs of each country. In addition, a ‘Train the Trainer” concept was set up to ensure the sustainability of the programme beyond 2022. The capacity building programme ended with a project closing meeting on March 15.
The knowledge gained will be shared with the entire YouthCan! programme. Therefore, the capacity building measures are an important first step in upscaling MSPs within YouthCan! to achieve the 2024 ambition of reaching 20.000 young people in a qualitative and meaningful way.