A lot of studies have explored the impact of the transition of young people from schools into the labour market; an important phase in the in the life cycle. It is important that young people from an early age are being encouraged to speak up and share their vision. And feel empowered and safe to do so. Often young people feel responsible in the pursuit of decent and and productive work for all. Or are even obligated to just step into the footsteps of older generations.
The UN recognizes that meaningful youth participation is crucial for human development. They are catalyst factors for social change, can produce economic growth, and enables technological advancements. Globally, the promotion of meaningful youth participation programs is seen as a priority. Meaningful youth participation programs have shown that the above mentioned expected outcomes actually occur. Young people, through programs that promote participation, feel more empowered and are more likely to engage in civil society. Moreover, these types of programs also enable young people to start a dialogue with their families about certain topics which might be considered taboo. Topics include themes such as sexual transmitted diseases and are usually not talked about in family spheres. Yet, these programs often allow young people to teach their family members about crucial problems and provide solutions.
Studies of the Food and Agricultural Organization (hereafter FAO) of the UN has recognized that in African coffee value chains there is potential for the involvement of youth, which is currently not utilized. A study conducted in Uganda illustrated that a large proportion of youth employed in the coffee sector work in difficult conditions and usually as day-labourers. Coffee youth participation programs maximize the participation of youth and enable them to learn land, financial, and other skills.
Although it is difficult to determine what percentage of our workers are between the ages of 15 and 24, we aim to research, monitor and evaluate this constantly. With our new project completely dedicated to the elimination of child labour within our supply chain we will be able to gain more direct insight into what ages within the youth range are directly or indirectly employed by us. Knowing this we can try to promote their active participation within our supply chain and prompt for more educational activities in order to help these younglings grow and alleviate themselves out of poverty. A win-win situation!
Thus, make every sip count and help youths in Ethiopia and Kenya achieve their dreams!