Tools For Empowerment

Investing in Youth

Tools kick start success for entrepreneurs
Tools kick start success for entrepreneurs

The Tools For Empowerment (TFE) project will provide Haitian youth with the tools for success; promote financial literacy, increase access to capital and foster cross-cultural understanding.

In Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, 55% of the population lives on less than $1 per day. Here the Salesian Missions provides quality vocational training and education, providing skills to needy youth. Yet young job seekers too often become disillusioned. Jobs are so scarce and employers usually require workers to provide their own tools. Through a partnership with ASAP, the TFE project will provide trade tool kits to SMDB graduates so they can put their skills to work to generate income or access employment. Click here for details.

Owning tools helps graduates secure employment
Owning tools helps graduates secure employment

In Georgia, tool kits for trades such as carpentry, metalworking, plumbing and electrical will be assembled from donated new and recycled tools and equipment by volunteers and shipped to Haiti. Each tool kit will also include training materials on how to establish and manage Savings Groups (SGs), which are formalized clubs where self-selected groups meet regularly to save and lend small amounts of money among themselves. SGs are a hugely successful (there are over 8.4 million SG members world-wide) method for the economically active poor to access funds to operate their informal income generating activities. ASAP has been providing training in SGs since 2001, helping over 85,000 families access capital through SGs. With TFE tool kits, graduates will be able to put their newly acquired skills to use and have access start-up capital to earn a living.

Connecting volunteers in GA to filling needs in Haiti is at the heart of the TFE project. Volunteers, both young and old, come-together to recycle tools and prepare kits, gain cross cultural understanding and insights into the real face of poverty. Some will discover the importance and value of recycling, while others will rediscover a sense of purpose. Young volunteers gain soft skills and learn hands-on skills shared from older volunteers. TFE provides a chance to pass on existing skills, make new friends and gain a sense of connection and service to the local and global community.

This project is modeled after the successful UK based TFSR project. From 1995-2005 ASAP was TFSR’s Zimbabwe-based partner, receiving containers of life-changing tool kits and witnessing first-hand how each tool kit brought so much hope and self-reliance.