A Better Future for Youth in Cambodia
By Aidan McAuliffe
We are always eager to get behind initiatives that have a defined focus on education, community development, and youth leadership. The Better Futures Programme by JWOC (Journeys Within Our Communities) in Cambodia embodies all of these elements; thus, partnering with this programme seemed like the perfect fit!
Based in Siem Reap, the Better Futures Programme supports Cambodian youth who are in a transitional period between basic and further or higher education. JWOC’s theory of change is that providing education at critical points of transition allows youth to acquire the means and foster the motivation for both personal and community development.
Cambodian youth (those aged 15 to 30) make up about 30% of the country’s population. Most of this group end up working in jobs that are dangerous, exploitative, or simply not aligned with their skills. With little to no access to information about the job market or appropriate career guidance counselling, they usually make wrong decisions and end up as an obsolete resource in the labour market.
JWOC mentors these students who are at a crossroads and equips them with skills and insight that enable them to make an informed decision about their futures. They take classes in English and computer literacy, as well as more complex courses in leadership, critical thinking, and project management. Besides the theoretical elements, students undertake internships with partner NGOs, and public and private institutions to gain meaningful work experience.
JWOC mentors these students who are at a crossroads and equips them with skills and insight that enable them to make an informed decision about their futures.
By matching their skills with the needs of the labour market, Cambodian youth are empowered to unleash their potential, leading to positive change for both themselves and their communities.