Greece and IOM Strengthen Community Infrastructure to Promote Youth Employment in the Zinder Region
Matameye – On 22 December, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the regional authorities of the Matameye department in the Zinder region of Niger held a steering meeting at the Matameye prefecture to mark the end of the project "Strengthening Community Infrastructure to Facilitate the Reintegration of Youth in the Department of Matameye".
The project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece and implemented by IOM, aimed to reinforce community infrastructure to deliver effective training to youth in the department of Matameye, a migration-prone area.
The meeting was an opportunity to evaluate the project and its contribution to increasing the capacity of the departmental child protection committee of Matameye. The child protection committees were established in 2019 in Niger following a presidential decree. The committees coordinate all interventions by individuals or structures regarding awareness-raising, training, and decision-making in the area of child and youth protection at the department level. Thus, the committee piloted the entire project implementation process.
In Niger, the world's youngest country, with more than half of the population below the age of 15 years, the low employment opportunities fuel a sense of hopelessness and despair among many Nigerien youths. In the Matameye department, located in the migration-prone Zinder region, youth tend to leave their communities searching for work because they lack access to educational and professional training and employment opportunities.
As part of the project activities, IOM reinforced three training centres in equipment and supplies to ensure effective business development training for youth in Matameye to enhance their employability. In this respect, the Tsaouni professional training centre (Centre de formation aux métiers - CFM), the Matameye Child Listening, Promotion, Prevention and Protection Centre (Centre d'écoute, de promotion, de prévention et de protection de l'enfant - CEPPP) and the elementary school of Gazari were identified and reinforced.
"Capacity building of infrastructure that delivers training to youth greatly reinforces our objective of investing in youths. We expect such initiatives to contribute to providing more employment opportunities for the youth of our community," says Hama Gamatié, Director of the Centre for professional training in Tsaouni.
As part of the project, 20 youths identified as potential migrants participated in a three-month professional training delivered by the reinforced Tsaouni professional training centre. Upon completion, the participants received equipment to start their businesses in sewing and carpentry.
"With the sewing supplies I received, I plan to open my sewing shop in my hometown," says Rabiou Abdel Kader, 25, a beneficiary of the training and equipment. "My dream is to expand my sewing business and hire young people to help them earn a living."
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