In Oaxaca, the third poorest state in Mexico, only 22.5% of young people have finished high school. This reality, coupled with the mediocre quality of public education, makes it harder for young people from vulnerable settings thrive, leading them to low-paying jobs in the informal sector, with no social security. According to official data, 64.5% of young people in Oaxaca between 15-29 earn a monthly income below the poverty line ($171), affecting their mental health and making them more likely to have risky behaviours. Moreover, 40% of young people in Oaxaca lack the necessary knowledge and skills needed to meet labour market demands, and 7 out of 10 have not acquired any valuable technical skill before becoming employed. Discrimination in hiring practices further aggravates the situation and -unfortunately, there are very few places where young people can access livelihoods training, mentoring and job placement support.
Clap is a non-profit established in 2016 with offices in Mexico City and Chihuahua, with a vision to scale and expand its model to other cities in the country. Clap aims to open better life paths for marginalised young people through an innovative model of community learning centres in partnership with governments, the private sector, and other non-profits with effective training programs offered in safe and attractive environments with trained mentors. Clap has two programmes, "Gira" targets adolescents (12-17 years) who have left or are at risk of leaving school to explore and develop their talents while learning relevant skills for their future. "Ruta" is a 6-month intensive job training and personal development programme focused on young people aged 17-26 years who have not finished high school and are unemployed or at low-skill or informal jobs. The program dynamically and innovatively integrates vocational training - based on the job market and young people's interest - with job skills training, internships, mentoring, and socio-emotional and leadership development to access higher-earning jobs. Their methodologies make learning engaging, practical and relevant to participants. Clap's model differs from others because it seeks to build local boards to engage and involve communities to take ownership of community centers.
EMpower's first grant to Clap will help the organisation open a new youth employment training centre in Oaxaca and continue operating its existing Centre in Chihuahua. The grant will help equip 105 marginalised young people aged 12-24 (59 female and 46 male) with the life, socio-emotional, vocational and job skills needed to secure employment in the formal sector. Participants will also receive mentoring and job placement support. Clap expects 76% of programme graduates to secure employment or continue their education.
Primary Location: Oaxaca & Chihuahua, Mexico
Funded Since: 2023
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