4 Years of Partnership and Empowering Youth: Aflatoun and SOS Children’s Villages

Since 2016, Aflatoun International has been consistently engaged with SOS Children’s Villages at both a global and national level, covering 11 countries, to provide quality training and support content for youth ages 15-30. With beneficiaries from SOS Children’s Villages programmes as well as interested youth from the regions, there are broader opportunities for the Aflatoun network as these projects with SOS CV have given Aflatoun the valuable opportunity to build a new Aflayouth curriculum to support young people inside the network as they transition into work and more income generating activities. The global youth unemployment figure in 2017 was 70.9 million, with a “youth-to-adult unemployment ratio [that] has barely changed” in 10 years, making the call for youth-focused employment programmes even more urgent.

Beginning with collaboration on The Next Economy from SOS CV Netherlands and GoodUp, a Life Skills, Employability and Entrepreneurship training programme for youth was developed and rolled out in Mali, Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia and Somaliland. Made possible by funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Next Economy is now scaling up. Likewise, Aflatoun contextualized a similar training programme in 2017 for youth in Ghana from the Asokore Mampong Municipality as part of a European Commission funded project, No Business as Usual: Creating Entrepreneurship in Ghana.

Aflatoun received another great opportunity to be involved in life skills and employment training for youth in a new region in 2017 and 2018. Funded by the European commission and partnered with SOS Children’s Villages Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine, Aflatoun developed and contextualized the content for this EU4Youth project. A local partner for each country was brought in to include the entrepreneurship content and all parties participated in many idea-sharing meetings and workshops to come up with the most effective training programme for unemployed young people in the region. This project is still currently being implemented.

In 2018, the SOS Children’s Villages global office’s YouthCan! initiative and Aflatoun developed content for an eCareer programme which was created for YouthCan’s YouthLinks network. YouthLinks aims to digitally connect young people from the SOS CV network to quality mentors. The development of this project content included five online mentoring sessions to be carried out by a corporate volunteer to support youth ages 16-25. The platform used is developed by Volunteer Vision and is an exciting innovation in e-learning and e-mentoring, with its own server and 24/7 technical support. eCareer piloted with SOS Children’s Villages beneficiaries in Nigeria and Peru. Well-supported by excellent volunteers from DHL, Allianz and other corporations, eCareer is now expanding via YouthLinks to 19 additional countries.

Aflatoun was again involved with the Next Economy and YouthCan! in 2018 and early 2019 to help develop an additional tool: training for business partners for their Business Engagement initiative. During the pilot phase of both eCareer and The Next Economy training programmes, it was noticed that good internship and mentoring business partners were not so easy to find. Aflatoun developed a short, but effective training package that SOS Children’s Villages staff can take to businesses to empower them to better support youth. This will be piloted in select countries which are already a part of The Next Economy and YouthLinks programmes.
In nearly all of these activities, Aflatoun participated in developing and carrying out master trainings in order to sustainably hand over programme implementation to SOS Children’s Villages. Aflatoun co-owns all of the content developed as well and is excited to integrate it into Aflatoun’s core curriculum offerings for a more holistic approach to youth empowerment.
We’re sure that the extent of the partnership does not stop here. The Next Economy has supported over 5000 youth since its beginning in 2016 and YouthCan! also reached out to just over 5000 young people in 2018.

Aflatoun International has reached 8.6 million children in 2018 and looks forward to adding more youth beneficiaries in the future.


1) International Labour Organization. Global Employment Trends for Youth 2017. https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_597065/lang–en/index.htm. 20 November 2017