Africa has a youthful population made up of enthusiastic and energetic young people who are sufficient and supportive (ILO, 2012). There are policies and programmes in place that could drive the social and economic prosperity of the continent. Despite decade long efforts, the challenges of youth development such as employment are still rife in Africa. There is also a widely held view that productive employment and decent work for young people cannot be achieved through fragmented and isolated interventions. Rather, there must be sustained, determined, and concerted action by a wide range of actors. Thus, the consensus is that youth productivity is a cross cutting and high priority issue that needs to be addressed within the framework of an interdisciplinary, multi- sectoral, and multi-stakeholder approach. In Zimbabwe youths constitute a large percentage of the population and they are most marginalized group of people when it comes to resource allocation (UNESCO, 2004). As a result their livelihoods have been affected by lack of resources, capabilities and assets to improve their livelihoods. However, the Zimbabwean government has made numerous efforts to improve the livelihoods of youths. One of the efforts made by the Zimbabwean government is to create the Ministry of Youth, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment. Hereafter, MYIIE has the mandate of empowering youth economically, socially and politically. To further reinforce and address challenges faced by youths, the indigenization policy was formulated to reduce unemployment, to promote a culture of entrepreneurship, improve resource allocation and improve the livelihoods of young people. Thus the mandate of the Ministry of Youth, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment is to execute and review policies relating to youths empowerment and compliance with the national indigenization and economic empowerment. Alongside the soot, NGOs have taken the mandate in order to capacitate the youths with skills and knowledge to help the Ministry so as to empower the youths. Given this background, the study seeks to address NGOs capacity building in youths in Matobo district as means to empower themselves economically, socially and politically.
The study focuses on the importance of NGO’s capacity building as an empowerment strategy for youths in Matobo District a case of Gulathi, ward 15. UNDP’s Youth Strategy (2014-2017) recognizes the involvement of young men and women in participatory decision making and development processes as vital to achieving sustainable human development. It supports the capacity development of young people, youth led organizations, the development of youth assembles in government, parliament and other bodies as well as promoting inclusive youth participation in effective and democratic governance; economic empowerment of youth; strengthened youth engagement in building resilience in their communities; inclusion of youth in the future development agenda, including thorough consultations and discussions. Capacity building has typically been defined as the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instinct, abilities, process and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt and thrive in the fast changing world.
UNESCO (2004) adopts the definition of “youth” in the African Youth Charter where “youth” means “every person between the ages of 15 and 35 years”. Today, more than ever, young women and men are change-makers, building new realities for themselves and their communities. All over the world, youths are driving social change and innovation, claiming respect for their fundamental human rights and freedoms, and seeking new opportunities to learn and work together for a better future. Therefore, Ullerberg (2009) posits that NGOs have traditionally taken on the role of gap filling that is, taking on activities of capacity building providing where the government lacks the capacity to do so or does not consider it a priority.
More so, NGOs work to build up local organizations so that they can do more to support local people themselves. For instance, it might include helping small community groups come together and provide support to their members or helping national NGOs or government institutions work better and grow. When it works well, capacity building can help local organizations deliver relevant services on a sustainable basis to local people (including lobbying and assisting empowerment). However, like all NGO activity, capacity building brings its own challenges. In particular, it is hard for outsiders to understand local organizations’ operating context (both internal and external). It is also often hard to be sure who is driving the ‘capacity building’ process: the NGO providing the assistance, or the organization receiving it. If the NGO providing assistance is driving the process, or if the capacity building support is not relevant, then any organization which is built up may not keep going on its own.
Developing community capacity and maximizing limited resources in rural areas are essential. Youth development and community development are interdependent. Building capacity for youth development programs in rural areas can provide a way for youth to engage in larger community development processes, thus growing and developing while benefiting the community as a whole. Youth in rural areas have fewer opportunities for development. For example, rural students are reportedly less aisled with their communities than urban students. Rural youth may also be more susceptible to boredom, which could lead to increased risk of delinquent behaviors (Ullerberg, 2009). In addition, rural youth face more stereotypes than urban youth and may have lower aspirations for education and careers. Unfortunately, many rural youth leave their home areas and do not return a factor that is troubling for long-term community development. Rural youth also have less access to youth development programs, less variety of programs to choose from, and less access to transportation than urban youth. Youth in rural areas often have less access to technological assets than urban youth. This lack can affect occupational opportunities, educational growth, and skill development of rural young people. To overcome some of these disparities, investing in capacity building in these communities is necessary. Therefore, the study is going to be conducted at Gulathi, Matobo District in ward 15 in Matabeleland South Province.
Youths in Zimbabwe suffer high unemployment due to lack of opportunities, physical and psychological challenges resulting from poverty. Some youths respond to these challenges by engaging in criminal or violent behavior while others suffer from despair or depression. Unemployment creates a wide range of social ills and young people are particularly susceptible to its damaging effects namely; lack of skills, low self-esteem, marginalization, impoverishment and wasting of enormous human resources. Unemployment has made many youths idle and so succumbing to drug abuse, promiscuity and crime. The study believes that mainstreaming NGO capacity development will lead to youth entrepreneurship and skills development as the keys to the problem of unemployment. This can be achieved by consciously directing resources to uplift the youths. ACET therefore provides youth training programs on social entrepreneurship and skills development training’s on home décor as well as catering. NGO’s have thus put forward programs that are made to prepare the young people into employment where at the end they will be able to create their jobs and employ others. Youth face many hurdles in trying to earn a livelihood and often lack access to credit, and many other productive resources necessary for agriculture. More so, they face challenges in terms of access to equal opportunities to jobs and having a voice in decisions which affect their lives. The youth’s strategy identifies developmental challenges and issues facing youth today. These problems associated with unemployment can be solved by empowering the youths through capacity development programmes. Hence, the study intends to assess how NGOs capacity building for youths may be seen as a means that can help to reduce the issues of poverty and unemployment in Matobo District.
The research study has the following objectives:
1) To identify factors that affect youths’ empowerment.
2) To identify the capacity development strategies adopted by NGOs in empowering youths.
3) To assess the effectiveness of NGOs capacity building as an empowerment strategy for youths.
1) Which are the factors that affect youths’ empowerment?
2) Which are the capacity building methods adopted by NGO’s in empowering the youths?
3) How effectiveness are NGOs’ capacity building as an empowerment strategy for youths?
Significance of the study
The study will be useful practically especially to government institutionskj such as MYYIE and agencies as well as Non Governmental Organizations such as AIDS Care Education and Trust. It will also guide individuals in their choosing careers and assurance in their labour market field of various career endeavors after their academic and skill acquisition programmes. The study is going to be important to ACET and youths because it will try to cover the gaps that are left to empower youths. More so, the study is important as capacity building implies activities which strengthen the knowledge, abilities, skills and behavior of individuals and improve institutional structures and processes such that the organization can efficiently meet its mission and goals in a sustainable way. Youth empowerment is a multi-level construct that requires an understanding of individual adaptation, organizational development, and community life evolution representing the individual, organizational, and community levels of empowerment. Youth empowerment can also be both process and outcomes oriented, empowering youth with skill development and opportunities, and creating empowered youth who have greater control in organizational and community decision-making. The research will also help to determine the efficient utilization and allocation of human resources among competing demands in NGO Capacity building among youths. Ledford etal (2014) argue that, NGO “capacity building is intended to encompass a variety of strategies that have to do with increasing the efficiency, effectiveness of government performance. He further suggested that capacity is seen as a variation of a strategy which include inside dimensions of building capacity inter alia human resources development, organizational strengthening dimension and institutional reform dimension. Therefore, the study will help NGOs and youths to identify factors that affect youths empowerment strategies as well as strategies adopted by NGOs in empowering the youths.
Delimitations of the study
The research study was only limited to youths from the age of 15 to 35 years under AIDS Care Education Trust in ward 15 at Gulathi who were undertaking capacity development activities in form of home décor and catering. This study is also applied to Ministry of Youths Indigenization and Economic Empowerment located in ward 15 at Gulathi in Matobo District at Matabeleland South Province
Chapter 1 gives an introductory guide based on the research. Chapter 2 considers a theoretical framework of the study as well as the literature review. Whereas chapter 3 considers research methodology that was undertaken during the study. Chapter 4 and 5 considers the main findings of the research as well as the analysis of data collection and recommendations.