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Barclays introduces “let’s get up and go” for youth

Publishing Date : 01 June, 2015

Author : JOSEPH KGAMANYANE


As part of efforts to address the numerous challenges that young Batswana face Barclays Bank Botswana has introduced a “let’s get up and go” motive for vulnerable youth in Ngamiland district.

Barclays Bank Botswana in partnership with UNAIDS and Project Concern International (PCI) has since December 2014 been implementing a Youth Education and Empowerment Project (YEEP) named Tweende which translate to “lets get up and go”.  Barclays bank funded the one year project to the tune of 1 Million Pula. The project targets vulnerable young people aged between 18-35 years in the Ngamiland East District.

Other partners in the project include PCI Botswana, Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA), Youth in Business Botswana (YIBBO) and Ngamiland Council of Non- Governmental Organizations (NCONGO).

The aim of the project is to provide employability, income generating opportunities and also reduce youth vulnerability to social ills such as HIV/AIDS. According to Barclays bank the four facets of the Tweende project is to;

“Provide financial literacy education to the target of 750 youth who will be trained in financial management skills and also linked to financial services. Give training on social life skills to around 300 youths. Also in partnership with private companies and government some will be trained on employability skills through being placed in jobs. Teach youth entrepreneurship skills and increased opportunities with 50 youth being assisted with their businesses start and also provide mentoring to them.”

According to Barclays Bank, by the end of February 2015, the project had successfully implemented some of its aims with 826 youth reaching with basic financial literacy skills using Barclays’ financial literacy curriculum of money matters, surpassing the project target of 750 youth.

Also of the 826 who attended the financial literacy training, 687 passed a rigorous  selection process to qualify for the next level of Aflateen that teaches them social and life skills, 354 has already graduated from Aflateen recently.

Tweende project was this week launched in Maun; the event attracted a number of public figures which among them was the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Thapelo Olopeng, United Nations Resident Coordinator Anders Pedersen, PCI Country Director Dorothy Tlagae and the Barclays Bank Botswana Managing Director Reinette Van Der Merwe.

At the launch, Barclays’ Van Der Merwe said that the Tweende project forms an integral part of the Barclays strategy on youth employability, enterprise and financial literacy skills which is the bank’s primary focus under its “five million young futures strategy” which is in its final lap. She added that Barclays aims to equip young people with skills that can help them be active and participating citizens in the development of the country.

“Unemployment is a major problem for the country and it can be a foundation for other social ills that impact on youth such as HIV/AIDS, alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy among others. This needs a multi pronged approach when addressing them. The project is also necessary for the country to be able to meet the goals of vision 2016 and the revised national youth policy that seeks to give youth every opportunity to reach their full potential as members of the society,” Van Der Merwe expressed.

According to 2011 population Census, Maun is the 3rd largest village in Botswana having a population of 60 263, with an additional 5 430 coming from surrounding villages. The youth aged 20 -34 years are reported to account for 56% of the population with 25% of them being unemployed.  Also HIV prevalence in the Ngamiland district is reported to be at 13.5% (10.6% being males and 15.4 as females).

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