In Sierra Leone, years of civil war and the Ebola crisis have severely impacted on development outcomes. The illiteracy rate is around 70% and 70% of young people are unemployed or underemployed. Civil society is weak, fragmented and under-funded and there are few initiatives supporting young people to upskill, gain livelihoods and have their voices heard.
We’re delighted to announce that The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, run by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society, has provided Indigo Trust with a grant of £366, 100 over 27 months to the Fund for Technology Innovation Hubs in Sub-Saharan Africa to address some of these issues. Aside from a £10,000 annual management grant, the full grant will be re-granted to Sensi Tech Hub in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
This grant will be used for Sensi to address youth unemployment. They will invest in improving their core capacity as well as providing grants to entrepreneurs from their community to support business development and innovation. They will also support these young people through running events which bring the sector together, providing training, mentorship and facilities such as computers and internet to partners involved in order to maximise their success in developing successful businesses or social initiatives.
They will also provide larger grants to social enterprises which focus on improving youth employment, supporting entrepreneurs or providing access to (business and entrepreneurship) skills training
It is hoped that through working closely with these groups, Sensi will play a lead role in bringing together some of the key groups supporting youth employment in Sierra Leone so that together they can have a more coordinated approach to addressing the issue.
We’re incredibly excited to be partnering with The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme and I’ll be sure to update you as this project unfolds.