09 Feb Welcome to the World of EQWIP HUBs
This International Development Week, we’re excited to welcome you into the world of EQWIP HUBs with our new blog ‘Inside EQWIP HUBs!’
Featured Image: A group of local volunteers, university students, and recent graduates work together to create Tanzanian-specific content for EQWIP HUBs’ employment and entrepreneurship curriculum. Photo credit: Hilary Duff.
The core premise is:
“When we propel #YouthForward, the world propels forward too.”
It’s a bold idea fuelled by big aspirations.
So what does it all mean? Youth are at the core of everything we do. It means that when young people — especially young women — can sustain themselves with fulfilling work or entrepreneurship, they can take control of their own futures and propel themselves forward. We know that when youth have access to a sustainable livelihood, there’s a domino effect of positive change that: empowers women, boosts economies, curbs violence, uplifts families, and sparks innovation. It literally propels the world forward too!
And for the 73 million unemployed youth around the world today*, it’s desperately needed.
Enter EQWIP HUBs. It’s a global network of youth innovation spaces spanning Bolivia, Ghana, Indonesia, Peru, Senegal and Tanzania. Similar to the rapidly expanding tech hubs of the world, EQWIP HUBs provides space for young people to connect, learn, gain mentorship and access technology. What makes EQWIP HUBS different is that instead of enabling youth to create the latest app or tech startup, EQWIP HUBs supports youth in achieving sustainable livelihoods. We’ve reimagined the model to make sure it’s accessible. EQWIP HUBs are places where all youth, regardless of gender, class or means, have the opportunity to prepare themselves to participate in the local economy.
It all comes together with a groundbreaking employment, entrepreneurship and life skills curriculum that’s been adapted for local market realities in each country. And the real magic happens when youth from Canada connect to local youth at each EQWIP HUB. This shapes a new dimension of mentorship, collaboration and support.
The best part is, it’s actually coming to life!
Over the past six months, we’ve formed the EQWIP HUBs Global Network which is an inspiring collective of youth-focused partner organizations in six countries, international agencies, leaders in technology and global cooperation experts. Each of these partners bring unique perspectives and assets to the table, enabling us to approach sustainable youth livelihoods from multiple angles.
In October, a tenacious group of 50 highly skilled volunteers hailing from across Canada, set out to contribute to the EQWIP HUBs startup phase. In the first three months they’ve learned about the realities of the youth unemployment challenge, started to establish the spaces that will house the first twelve EQWIP HUBs and conducted needs assessments with local youth.
In December, collaboration began with our education partner, Education Development Centre (EDC). This collaboration will see volunteers, local youth, industry and government officials come together in each country to start adapting an internationally renowned work, life and entrepreneurial skills curriculum that will be rolled out across EQWIP HUBs in the coming months. EQWIP HUBs responds to local realities in each country, and this unique curriculum is being designed with first-hand, local insight into the needs of youth, culture, and gender context.
More than that, these dedicated young Canadian volunteers are helping to transform EQWIP HUBs into inspiring and innovative spaces that will propel #YouthForward. In just a few months from now, EQWIP HUBs will host the first wave of local youth participants in Peru, Bolivia, Senegal, Ghana, Tanzania and Indonesia!
Has the road to get here been straightforward? No way!
Like any startup we’re continually learning how to adjust to multiple local contexts, how to ignite and nurturing bold new partnerships and how to build a strong and dedicated team. Establishing a single EQWIP HUB is a feat in itself, and scaling up to 12 has brought a host of challenges that allow us to continually evolve! The good news is that we’re more determined than ever to build a global project that will one day power sustainable youth livelihoods.
We’re taking this International Development Week to say thank you to the countless partners, organizations, volunteers and youth who have started to transform EQWIP HUBs from an idea into a reality, and who will continue to propel #YouthForward in the years to come.
We hope that through ‘Inside EQWIP HUBs’ we can give you a glimpse into our world. We are excited to introduce you to the young Canadians who are bringing EQWIP HUBs to life as well as the determined youth taking part in our programs.
Stay tuned for more unique perspectives from the frontlines of the global youth unemployment transformation.
Join us in propelling 100,000 #YouthForward by 2020!