what we do
We address the problem of unemployment facing youth in Southern Africa
A frightening percentage of school leavers in Southern Africa, despite a strong desire to join the world of work and to contribute economically, are unable to escape ‘the poverty trap’.
Unemployment creates and reinforces negative feelings about oneself and creates and reinforces a sense of hopelessness about the future. F4LF4W, in existence since 2006, has accompanied many thousands of young men and women, all from resource-poor communities, on their journeys to becoming confident young adults who understand how to conduct themselves professionally, who are able to secure long-term employment, set up a small business or find a bursary for vocational training – and then they are able, with great pride, to contribute to their families, communities and the economy.
Unemployment also makes young people vulnerable to dysfunctional behavior – casual or transactional sex, petty crime, drug use – but, having a career path that they have mapped out for themselves gives direction to their lives and a reason to hold out for more than short-term gratification.
Unemployment undermines young people’s trust in the institutions of society: the government, the law, the democratic process. Millions of unemployed young people in any country threatens not just their own ability to be a productive citizen, but it places the whole of society at risk.
Work, Fit for Life, Fit for Work believes, is part of human flourishing. Everyone, especially our young women and men, have the right to work, to earn and contribute to the wellbeing of themselves, their loved ones – and society in general.