Comas, a northern district of Lima, has a population of 525,000 inhabitants, 22% of whom live in poverty. Young people (age 10-24) constitute approximately 26% of its population. More than 57% of the population lives in new neighbourhoods and informal settlements. In 2015, over 1.3 million young people neither studied nor worked in the country (40,000 more than the previous year). The National Curriculum requires Basic Education (primary and secondary school) to emphasize an entrepreneurial education as well as incorporate a gender equality approach. While this norm has been in place since 2004, only now has its implementation been defined.
Schools face several challenges incorporating this:
Schools and teachers feel ill-equipped to deal with and effectively teach material addressing all these issues. Schools are recognizing that real-life preparation for work cannot be taught without addressing issues such as the increased levels of violence and adolescent pregnancy, since these directly impacting the school environment and youth’s future lives and plans.
Alternativa was founded in 1979 by a group of young professionals committed to addressing the problem of laid-off workers in northern Lima. The current leadership team consists of an economist, engineer, sociologist and education expert. Alternativa has expanded to the provinces of Piura in northern Peru and Ica in southern Peru. Its work includes environmental development; citizen participation and the democratization of institutions; local economic development/employment; social development; and microfinance. In more recent years, the institution has been more focused on local economic development and social development (e.g. education). Alternativa has a committee fully dedicated to ensuring that youth are incorporated into all program areas; it is developing specific policies and procedures to ensure coordination, exchange learnings, and develop an internal policy around its work with youth and an institutional “external” point of view to influence public policy.
EMpower’s 3rd grant to Alternativa will enable it to work in two new schools to provide training to young people ages 14-17 on core life skills, entrepreneurship, leadership, and violence prevention (including gender-based violence), as well as train teachers and parents in prevention of violence and drug use.
Primary Location: Lima
Funded Since: 2015
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