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On International Women’s Day, CAMFED Ghana celebrated the expansion of a program, led by young women, which is designed to support girls and boys from marginalized backgrounds to succeed in school, and thrive after completing their education. The My Better World program will boost the ambitions of the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy, with 1,200 young women aiming to equip 210,000 young people with work-readiness skills.

The program centers around the My Better World curriculum, which was designed with young people in Africa to help girls and boys in rural districts to succeed at school, and make a successful post-school transition. The program helps students to build confidence, gain life and learning skills, set goals, and learn how to achieve them. CAMFED initially implemented the program in partnership with 18 senior high schools across 11 districts across Ghana with funding from The Queen’s Trust.

Now this female-led program will be instrumental in CAMFED’s partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, supporting the implementation of the Young Africa Works strategy in Ghana. CAMFED will, over the next three years, equip 210,000 young people (girls and boys) with work-readiness skills, and directly enable 120,000 young people to secure dignified and fulfilling employment. The anticipation is that 70 percent of jobs will be for women and over 65 percent will be newly-created through young women’s entrepreneurship, adding to the pool of employment opportunities for Ghanaian youth.

Under the Young Africa Works strategy implementation in Ghana, and through CAMFED’s My Better World program, young women school graduates will return to their local schools to deliver the My Better World self-development curriculum, helping to build young people’s work readiness and cultivate important skills to navigate the challenges they face. This curriculum will be delivered over a 12-month period through weekly sessions in class for both girls and boys. 1,200 young women will be operational across senior high schools in CAMFED’s regions of operation over the three-year period.

A young woman facilitating a session under the ‘My Better World’ program

A young woman facilitating a session under the My Better World program. (Photo: Eliza Powell/CAMFED)

During their work in schools, the young women will identify children who may be particularly vulnerable to school drop-out, and refer them to the local District Education Committee in order that they can be considered for additional support to ensure their retention and completion of senior high school. This in turn means that those young people who are particularly marginalized will join the pipeline to benefit from interventions in the post-school phase targeted at job creation and employment.

CAMFED will work with partners to expand the curriculum delivered by the young women to incorporate additional components focused on career planning, and will create an online modular version that is made widely accessible. CAMFED will also work with the Ministry of Education (in particular the Guidance and Counselling Unit) to explore the potential for national roll-out of the curriculum, and for integration of the young women’s role with the Government of Ghana’s National Service Scheme employment initiative.

CAMFED’s partnership with the Ministry of Education and its departments and agencies, such as the Guidance and Counselling Unit and the Council for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), is key to the success of this program, and CAMFED is looking forward to ever-deeper collaboration under Young Africa Works in Ghana, showing just what is possible when young women lead.