Barclays and UNICEF are celebrating four years of their Building Young Futures partnership, which has helped empower more than half a million young people globally by providing opportunities to acquire the skills needed to achieve a better future.
Barclays Chairman Marcus Agius and the President of UNICEF UK Lord Paddy Ashdown marked the milestone by launching a report outlining the achievements of the partnership at the Foundling Museum in London.
The report, entitled ‘Building young futures four years on: Inspirational results with inspirational young people’, highlights some of the partnership’s most important successes since its launch in 2008, such as:
- Supporting over half a million young people
- More than 280,000 young people have new or renewed access to education
- Over 260,000 have gained vocational, money management, small business management skills and accessed career guidance
- Nearly 11,000 have accessed microfinance or started income-generating activities.
Marcus Agius said: “Our partnership has helped build the skills of the next generation. We believe the lasting and sustainable results will ultimately lead to more harmonious societies and stronger economies.”
David Bull, Executive Director, UNICEF UK, added: “By combining our expertise, experience and commitment, this partnership has truly transformed the future prospects of vulnerable young people around the world.”
The report also contains case studies about young people living in some of the 13 countries supported by the programme, including the story of Madame Hafsha, a 23-year-old village shop owner from Mumbwa, a town in the Central Province of Zambia.
Like many young Zambians, Hafsha found it hard to get work. She was determined to change this and took a small loan to set up a village shop on the kerb outside her house. By participating in the Building Young Futures Get Ahead course, she developed financial and business know-how, which has helped her to gain confidence about how she can beat the competition, including two similar stalls down the road.
Hafsha summed up what she has learnt: “I am now able to balance my books and have learnt the importance of managing my money properly.”
Part of Barclays community investment programme, helps disadvantaged young people access better education and employment opportunities, and gain skills to set up or run a small business. Hundreds of Barclays employees are also engaged in the partnership, sharing their own business experience by mentoring young people or providing training in financial skills.