Over half of Ethiopia’s population consists of young people between the ages of 15-24 years. Despite the government’s efforts to improve the living conditions of this part of the population with a variety of engagement of the youth itself, many of the youth face diverse problems and live with constant life challenges. Especially in urban centers of the country, the number of delinquent juveniles is increasing. In Dessie it is believed that there are many people living on the streets, and more than half of these are young people.
This number is increasing every day due to poverty and migration of people from the rural to urban areas in search of a better life. It is also due to children losing parents to AIDS and other causes. These young people are often involved in socially undesirable practices, such as going to a place where to have sex with prostitutes and drug and alcohol abuse. Many youth commit crimes such as robbery and other offenses. According to police reports more than half of all the arrested criminals are young people. Other available evidence also indicates that young people commit most criminal offences including drug abuse and other harmful practices in urban areas of Ethiopia.
One of the major factors that seriously aggravate the problems of the youth is the absence of sufficient employment opportunities. A lot of school dropouts and those who complete high school education with less opportunity to join higher learning institutes could remain dependent on their parents or guardians with very limited resources. Unfortunately a considerable number of them spend almost half of their time in such a state. As a result, those youths who particularly come from low income parents often become hopeless and involved in prostitution and end up contracting HIV/AIDS. Frustrated by the challenges of getting reliable means of subsistence, some young people seem to have lost faith and a vision of tomorrow’s world. The problem calls for an immediate attention to assist in control the situations that are not desirable to the present trend of the young in Ethiopia. The engagement of the youth in the development activities shall be enhanced through arts and entrepreneurship development. It is with this understanding and a sense of responsibility that the project entitled “Capacitating the Youth to get engaged in Social Action Projects” came to existence.
HOLLA aims at building and increasing the capacity of young people through arts and entrepreneurship development and the promotion of a youth partnership supporting young people and communities to better contribute to the youth’s future. The project also contributes to the implementation of the youth development package through promotion of small youth focused social action and community cohesion projects involving the Ethiopian youth.
HOOLA focuses on enhancing the engagement of the youth in the development activities by building the capacity of the youth through and entrepreneurship arts development. Thus, the project management follows a participatory methodology where all stakeholders including the beneficiaries are involved from the outset.
Training contents are identified based on the needs of the youth in line with the current youth policy package. Training modules will be adapted to fit in the needs of the youth by experienced training material developers. Capacity building trainings follow the cascading model in two phases and are to be offered by capable master trainers who have the expertise and experience. There will be serious follow ups to maintain the quality of the trainings during the cascading trainings to be provided for peer educators as well as for community youth actors.
Local implementing partners encourage youth voluntary social development actions during events on arts, sports and cultural development activities. Youth led partnerships and platforms are to be established in sharing experiences among entrepreneurs, cultural and community development actors.
By implementing the planned activities the project achieved significant results such as Youth Partnerships established and capacitated to deliver a national program of youth-led initiatives, young people, skilled and equipped to better contribute to community development, youth-focused Social Action Projects and local awareness raising activities delivered by Community Facilitators .
All the training and continuous capacity building activities implemented by the project create an impact on participants, families, and communities. People learned new things from the active citizen model of the training. Young people in Dessie start to use in their day-to-day activities. Beyond the change they live special before the engaging the project participants organized so many active citizens training for their peers through youth associations and federations at Dessie.
In general the project participants fully understand the project. Consequently they play their own role in contribution to the wellbeing of the society.