September 9, 2021, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrates the successful completion of its four-year USAID Enriching Youth for Tomorrow Program implemented by JA Worldwide, one of the oldest and largest youth-serving NGOs in the world. The activity improved the capacity of Turkmenistani youth to contribute to the local economy and their communities.
The program worked in close partnership with the Union of Economists of Turkmenistan and other national public organizations, and more than 50 private sector partners, non-governmental and international organizations to achieve significant results in promoting the active engagement of young people of Turkmenistan in the labor market and their participation in civil society, which received wide recognition at different levels.
The activity provided more than 8,000 youth the opportunity to improve their entrepreneurial, digital, and work-readiness skills. Of the 8,000, 5,360 youth obtained employment, increased their incomes, or started their own businesses.
Through job-shadowing and internship programs, the activity increased youth access to internships in the private sector. These internships established links between the education system and employers. The Introduction of the Startup Ecosystem program demonstrated the business incubation services to Turkmenistan and inspired 249 young entrepreneurs to generate 102 startup projects.
The program also established the Center for Digital Economy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the Union of Economists. This Center trained 350 teachers, junior faculty, and trainers in digital skills.
More than 2,000 volunteers and young people participated in outreach and alumni programs. These initiatives provided opportunities to the community to learn about topics such as gender equality, inclusion and equal opportunities for disadvantaged youth, reintegration of victims of trafficking, and promoted science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for women.
During the 2021 Startup Ecosystem Online Awards Ceremony, Brandie Conforti, Global Chief Development Officer at JA Worldwide, stated: “We are very proud of the contribution that the project has made to the development of Turkmenistan’s youth. We hope that the results and the best practices of the project have created the foundation for the further sustainable development of youth programs in Turkmenistan.”
U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan, Matthew S. Klimow stated: “Due to the success of Enriching Youth for Tomorrow, Turkmen youth have more opportunities to work in the private sector or become entrepreneurs. The U.S. government looks forward to our continued support of sustainable approaches to ensure that youth have the skills to succeed in the future.”
The U.S. government announced on September 7 that it launched a new five-year activity that will engage with youth to identify their needs and build partnerships with the private sector to generate better qualified Turkmenstani youth that respond to the needs of the domestic economy. The activity will focus on eliminating the skills gap between what employers need and current skills in the labor market.
USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. For more information, visit: https://www.usaid.gov/central-asia-regional and USAID’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/USAIDCentralAsia.