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Youth and ICT

28 October 2009

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IICD’s latest publication Youth Promotion through ICT -- Lessons learned from the Chawama Youth shows how ICT can be integrated into youth promotion. The document is a practitioner’s guide to learn from experiences and implement solutions to a new geographical location.

Youth Promotion through ICT -- Lessons learned from the Chawama Youth 

Publisher: International Institute for Communication and Development; October, 2009

This thematic brief describes the lessons learned of the Chawama Youth Project (CYP), a Community based skills training centre in Lusaka, Zambia.

In the Chawama Township, based in an urban township of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia most of the youths (between 15 and 25 years old) are unemployed and lack skills to generate their own sustainable livelihoods. There is also low level of education.

Rampant employment among youth of Chawama Township was required. So it was decided to come up with a skills training centre to give them life skills. That would help them to get employment or be self employed.

The activities of the Chawama Skills Training Centre (CSTC) are two-fold: namely a training centre and a production centre.

With IICD support an ICT skills training facility was added. A major first challenge was the installation of the equipment and the dial-up internet connection through a landline Another challenge was the lack of capital.

This project focused on three components:

  • Improvement of livelihoods especially of the youth and women in Chawama
  • Township
  • Improvement of information access for the Chawama Township
  • Enhancement of services offered by CYP

The skills of the CYP staff in audio and video recording were enhanced, and assistance was offered for the marketing of the music under CYP’s own label: CYPRO Records.

At another level, information provision for community members improved with the introduction of an information resource centre / internet café for the general public. CYP also started ICT training at their centre for students and community members of the Chawama Township.

The lessons learned:

  • During the past three years, CYP highlights a number of lessons that they learned, namely:
  • The internet café has become very important for attracting additional clients.
  • Clients become interested in buying other goods and services while they visit the internet café. A school manager who visited the internet café ordered 50 desks for his school from the carpentry unit.
  • Linkages to MYSCD, NYDC (National Youth Development Council) and the other Youth Resource Centres have been very fruitful. By sharing experiences the image of CYP has been improved and has received recognition from MYSCD. CYP in turn has learned from other Youth Resource Centres about managing skills centres in rural areas.
  • Self-esteem, believing in, and trusting staff and community members is essential.
  • Build in flexibility: achieving improvements is more important than implementing the planned activities. During the implementation phase there needs to be room for changes in the plan if new ideas come up after more capacity is acquired.
  • Ongoing capacity building is needed in an environment with high staff turnover.
Source : IICD

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