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Scholarships fund youth training in Nicaragua’s emerging industries

 

Nicaragua has the highest unemployment rate in Central America, which especially affects the country’s youth: Lack of work is the reason 7 in 10 of the country’s under-25-year-olds want to emigrate. USAID’s Enterprise and Employment (E&E) project—managed by CARANA—is addressing the problem head-on by partnering with a nonprofit that trains young people in skills demanded by the private sector and then places them in jobs.

More than 500 youth apply to Fundación Victoria’s technical program every year but the school can’t afford to accept them all. This year, E&E is funding full scholarships for 100 students, including books, lunch, uniform and other equipment required for hands-on classes. Students are enrolled in two 22-month programs—Industrial Maintenance and Business Management (with focus on marketing and sales)—both emerging fields in Nicaragua.

In April, E&E’s scholarship students were visited by Mark Lopes, USAID’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean. Lopes, a firm believer in youth programming, was overcome by emotion after hearing first hand from the students what these scholarships mean to them and how they will help bring prosperity to their families and their country.

Published August 2011