12 Aug Creating sustainable change: the impact of EQWIP HUBs youth livelihood project

When Canada World Youth and Youth Challenge International launched the EQWIP HUBs project in 2015, they had an ambitious goal: to change the lives of 100,000 youth by 2020.  As leaders in global youth development, they wanted to create real, sustainable change in the lives of young women and men in 6 countries around the world.

With the largest global population of youth ever and a projected population of 1.3 billion people aged 15 to 24 years old by 2030, quality and relevant education is key to improving youth livelihood opportunities and creating sustainable growth in today’s highly competitive and ever-changing globalized society.

This year’s International Youth Day is focused on the importance of “Transforming Education”, which highlights the necessity, and the efforts of governments, young people, and youth-led, youth-focused organizations, to make education more inclusive and accessible for all youth. Education equals empowerment. Known as a “development multiplier”, education is essential to sustainable development and positively impacts all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

To achieve its own goal and support the SDG’s, EQWIP HUBs collaborates with local in-country youth livelihood actors and engages a community of support through its HUB Networks. While the project is now in its fifth and final year, it aims to improve the ability of local in-country partners to continue providing innovative and impactful programming for young people, long after the project is done.  Formal employment and resilient small businesses offer youth a brighter outlook on their future. Relevant, market-responsive training give young people the skills and confidence they need to pursue these opportunities. EQWIP HUBs, through its collaboration with local partners, Canadian volunteers, and HUB Network members, provides the programming, coaching, networks and technical resources young women and men need to propel themselves forward.

Results worth celebrating 

In year 4 of the project, EQWIP HUBs trained more than 25,000 young women and men at its 12 international HUBs, exceeding its yearly goal by 20%. Success is further demonstrated by the positive outcomes in the lives of local youth. According to a study completed 6 months after graduating from EQWIP HUBs, 67% of youth were employed or operating a business: tripling the number reported before their participation in the project. Approximately half of youth directly attributed EQWIP HUBs’ training to their accomplishments and reported an increase in social well-being.

Supporting young entrepreneurs through the Youth Innovation Fund, the third cycle of the grant disbursed $150,000 amongst 154 selected young entrepreneurs; 58% of which were women. Currently, 85% of businesses from year 1 of the project are still operational; and 93% from year 2.

All of this was made possible through collaboration with nearly 20 local in-country partners, over 150 Canadian volunteers, and more than 200 HUB Network members that engage in the provision of trainings, mentorship programs, support services and employment events. These partnerships broadened local organizations’ ability to improve youth livelihoods through market-driven programs and by creating employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, creating resounding impact today and into tomorrow.

Read the entire report below to get the full picture of how this Canada World Youth and Youth Challenge International development project has been transforming lives of youth worldwide:


EQWIP HUBs is powered by two leading international youth agencies, Canada World Youth and Youth Challenge International and is funded, in part, by Global Affairs Canada. As part of Canada’s, Volunteer Cooperation Program, EQWIP HUBs seeks to increase the capacity of local partners to provide sustainable and impactful youth programming and enhance Canadian’s participation in, and understanding of, its global development efforts.

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