SKY project, training and employment for disadvantaged young people

Helvetas / Ethiopia

  • Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
  • Professional training
  • Adolescents 14 – 25 years old

young people received training


found stable or self-employment


of graduates have founded a business and create jobs for other young people

The Sky project aims to combat the lack of training of young Ethiopians, boys and girls. It aims to train young people to enable them to enter the workforce.

The innovative element of Sky project is a payment mechanism for trainers based on the results obtained by trainers.
During the first phase of the project, around 1600 disadvantaged young people were trained, 72% of whom found stable or self-employment. 30% of graduates founded a business and created jobs for other young people. A number of them become trainers in turn. The project therefore also aims to promote a cost-effective training model that can be transferred to other regions of Ethiopia.

It’s this multiplier effect sought by Sky that seduced the Hermann foundation and convinced it to participate in its financing even if it does not exclusively concern young girls and women (at least 50% nonetheless)

Testimonials :

Sahile Mariam Shebabaw, 22, seamstress

Sahile has 5 brothers and sisters. Her father died when she was little, so her mother had to take care of the children alone and could not afford to send everyone to school. Sahile had to leave school early and was unable to find a job.

In 2016, she heard about SKY classes and signed up for the sewing class. After the course and a short job, she opened her own business with a friend, which they have continued to grow. Both support their families.

“The course and advice on starting the business was very helpful. Our business is doing very well, we have a lot to do and we have 7 employees. We want to expand our business further”.

Sahile Mariam is now a trainer herself and is currently training 42 young people through SKY. Two former beneficiaries have also started their own businesses.

Mahilet Metalign, 19, cook

Mahilet lost her father when she was 6 years old. Because her sick mother had no money for school fees, she was unable to finish high school. After several low-paying temporary jobs, she learned about the SKY courses in her community. She was recognized as a particularly disadvantaged young woman and was able to choose the cooking class because she liked to cook.

“The class was great and very helpful. It allowed me to turn my passion for cooking into a profession. I also benefited from the exchange with my classmates. Thanks to a loan, I immediately opened my little store. I was already able to pay back the fart.

Now I earn a very good living, I am independent and happy. I can pay the medical expenses for my mother, renovate the house and save 1200 birr (about 40 CHF) per month. Soon I will be able to open a restaurant and start a family.

Kokobe Kidane, 31, trainer

Kokobe owns a training center that the SKY project has been working with since 2015. She trains young people in the restaurant industry.

“Working with SKY is intense but very rewarding. I have really enjoyed giving the continuing education courses as a provider; I have become more professional. In the past, the course modules were longer and more theoretical; many young people could not afford such long training courses. The SKY modules are shorter and more practice-oriented.

The payment system works well. It forces me to choose the students well, to constantly improve the teaching and to make sure that the graduates find jobs. ”

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