Tools for vocational training for youth in Ndola – Zambia
Ndola - Zambia
Prison Fellowship organizes vocational training in Ndola prison to prepare inmates for their reintegration into society. Prison Fellowship now also wants to provide vocational training in two townships of Ndola (Mushili and Kawama) communities with the aim of empowering vulnerable unemployed young people and reducing the risk that they become involved in criminal activities.

An amount of € 4,500 is required to purchase the training equipment and tools. The Van Doorn Foundation is looking for sponsors to support this project!

Amount required: € 4,500.-

Amount collected: € 4,500,-

Project information
The situation
Ndola is the provincial capital of the Ndola District with a population of 475,194 people. During the booming copper mining era of the 1960s and 70s, Ndola City was established as the country’s leading commercial, industrial, and distributive centre. Over the past two decades, Ndola has experienced a decline in the city’s economic activity which has been exhibited by company closures, relocations, and massive retrenchments. The rampant unemployment among the youth forces many of them into avoidable activities such as prostitution for women and crime for men. The two townships of Ndola (Mushili and Kawama) are among the poorer parts of the city with more slums, more unemployment levels, drug abuse, teen marriage, high prostitution etc. The unemployment among the youth have been estimated at five times greater than for adults. The main factors that constraint young people from finding work include a misalignment of education and labour market needs, lack of experience, nepotism and corruption in the labour market, and a lack of skills and entrepreneurship training. Gender is another factor that reduces the chances for young women to be employed and if employed at lower pay or not being paid at all.
The importance of the project
About 86% of the Zambian population live in poverty and young people make up a sizeable proportion of those unemployed, five times more than older adults. Key factors why young people have more difficulties to find work is the misalignment of education with the labour market needs, young people’s lack of experience, and the lack of available skills and entrepreneurship training. There are several new industries emerging in Ndola that have the potential for increasing youth employment, such as in the sectors of telecommunication, tourism, and agriculture.

A survey conducted in the Mushili and Kawama townships indicated that there are higher poverty and unemployment levels than in other parts of the city; a lot of young people do not go to school due to lack of money to pay for school / training fees; and unemployed youth and adults increasingly get involved in theft and prostitution. These conditions also attract other criminals to the townships. The church established youth training centres in these townships to provide counselling, information, and recreation to the youth. Prison Fellowship will provide vocational training in these youth centres, equipping youth with skills, creating employment opportunities, reducing poverty and crime in the area.

The implementing organisation
The Prison Fellowship Society of Zambia’s is a Christian organisation founded in Ndola in 1984 with as core business to improve the welfare of inmates, ex-inmates, and their families and advocates for a fair and effective criminal justice system in Zambia. Prison Fellowship prepares inmates for reintegration in society among others through vocational training.

Vocational training is implemented at Ndola’s Kansenshi prison and will be implemented in the youth centre in Mushili and in the youth centre in Kawama.

Prison Fellowship is affiliated with technical educational vocational training authority (TEVETA) which provides and regulates training schools in Zambia. TEVETA sets examinations and only trainees who meet their qualifications receive certificates. TEVETA also ensures that all training providers adhere to their standards without compromising their quality.

The envisaged project results
Prison Fellowship will run vocational training programmes in Mushili youth centre and in the Kawama youth centre. The St Peters Catholic Church who owns the youth centre in Mushili and the St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe Church who owns the youth centre in Kawama, make classrooms available for the envisaged training. Through the project these classrooms will be fully equipped with the necessary equipment (for the tailor training in Mushili and for the computer training in Kawama). Prison Fellowship will annually train 80 young people in tailor skills (in Mushili Youth Centre) and 80 young people will be trained in computer skills (in Kawama Youth Centre).

As a result of the training, youth from the two townships will be empowered with skills (tailoring and basic computer knowledge) that allows them to gain employment or eventually run their own businesses (tailor workshop, secretarial services, access to internet or recording their own music). The unemployment and poverty among youth in those two townships will consequently be reduced as well as their involvement in criminal activities.

The chance of sustainability
Prison Fellowship’s training programme in the prison is highly depending on national and international support. The inmates don’t pay a training fee, and revenues from the sales of products made by the inmates are partly used to purchase new training material and partly shared with the inmates.

Prison Fellowship’s training programme in the townships can fund itself. The training cost amounts to € 26 per trainee per year for the training material and salaries of the instructors. The trainees pay a training fee of € 18 per trainee per year (just € 1½ per month) which is more symbolic than to cover the cost. With sales of the products (pullovers and other clothes) made by the trainees during the training and the services (secretarial and internet services) provided during the training, additional revenues are generated amounting to an average € 12 per trainee per year. With this the youth centres are able to pay for the running cost of the training and are only depending on national and international support for larger investments (building and equipment).

The result

At the beginning of 2022, equipment was purchased, and the three-month computer courses started for 20 trainees in the Kawama Youth Centre.

In mid-2022, sewing machines and other supplies were purchased and the three-month tailoring training started for 36 trainees in the Mushili Youth Centre.