The COVID-19 Consequences
When the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the young people of the Ayo Ayo municipality of Bolivia were not immune. Due to the early closing of the school year and a lack of access to the internet, these students were unable to continue their learning. In many cases, they became unpaid laborers performing unskilled work to support their hungry families and had to leave their education behind them.
Revitalizing the Youth
In an agreement with the Universidad Mayor San Andrés and the efforts of CHOICE Humanitarian, entrepreneurship workshops were presented to these young people so they could still have applied learning opportunities amidst the school closures. In these workshops, they were trained on how to make strategic plans for local micro-businesses. Participants were given a goal: increase income for the most impoverished families in the community.
To do that, the youth were taught how to create installation budgets and balance the cost of supplies. The program also trained them on how to execute livestock and agricultural production with gender-generational inclusion.
Through the Youth Entrepreneurship Program, 50 young people in the region were able to make business plans and $30,093 was allocated as seed capital to get their businesses running.
The youth of Ayo Ayo came to understand how important it is to develop a strategic plan for a business. They gained skills like analyzing similar businesses, defining how much capital would be needed for investment, and determining how much profit they would earn. Other beneficial components of the workshops included building resilience, engaging in productive dialogue, strengthening their capacities, and learning how to incorporate state and government resources into their businesses. These young people’s minds were active and engaged through this unique educational opportunity.
Beatriz and Vidal Learn for the Greater Good
Beatriz Quispe Tancara, a participant in the program, said this during one of the workshops: “[The youth] already have their business plans in draft, some are more elaborate, and others that are just starting. But everyone is developing their plans. The project that caught my attention the most was about hydroponics. They are very interesting.”
Vidal Abad Flores Valero, another participant, added, “This is training for my community and it benefits me a lot, too. I want to be better to help my community. I want to move my community forward from what it is to what it can become. What they are teaching me here is excellent and thanks to them we will have a better future.”
This is just another way that CHOICE Humanitarian works toward sustainably reducing global poverty: by funding projects that will help families for years to come. Thanks to this expansive project, there is a new generation of youth empowered to pursue entrepreneurial enterprises, that may never have had that choice.
To learn more about this Youth Entrepreneurship Program, watch this video from the CHOICE Humanitarian Bolivian team!