The launching of YouthCan!

17 Sep 2019
SOS Children's Villages Benin is now one of the countries in which the YouthCan project! is implemented. The launching ceremony took place in the presence of political authorities, economic operators, guests and young people.

On the morning of Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, political authorities, business actors, SOS staff, young people and the global YouthCan manager were invited to the Golden Tulip Hotel the Diplomat in Cotonou for the launching of the YouthCan project! The ceremony, facilitated from the beginning to the end by the young people participating in the SOS programmes, impressed many. Indeed, two young people from the replacement care, Rodrigue and Falila, respectively holders of a diploma in journalism and a diploma of general administration, were the masters of ceremonies.
Mr. Salimane Issifou, National Director of SOS Children's Villages Benin, in his welcome speech, painted the situation of jobseekers and wished that employers paid more attention to young people during internships. He wished a synergy of actions and thoughts for the success of this project before concluding: "YouthCan !, it's everyone's business!"


Mrs. Laure Adoukonou, the representative of the National Council of Patronage, recognized the merit of YouthCan and wished its durability to impact more young people since the ambition is good. "The Patronate is willing to accompany SOS Children's Villages Benin in this initiative and will be involved in this common struggle for the employability of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds".


As for the Director General of the National Agency for Employment (ANPE), Mr. Urbain Amégbédji, YouthCan! is perfectly in line with the objectives of the ANPE, which is in fact a public service of a social nature. Young people are undermined by unemployment and underemployment and this is a general challenge. He then urged the National Director of SOS Children's Villages Benin to guide the training of young people in the promising professions and in technical and vocational education.
Then, former SOS young people made testimonials about SOS Children's Villages Benin and thanked all those who have, in one way or another allowed them to become what they are today.

DHL Benin's Director General, Mr. Mamadou Aw, for his part, presented the GO Teach initiative implemented by his organization and SOS Children's Villages. This partnership has made it possible to develop the employability of many young people participating in SOS programmes.


Mr. Hugh Eggar, Global Manager of YouthCan! explained the ins and outs of the project. "YouthCan! is an innovative approach, to get young people out of the vicious circle of poverty. It's a programme that benefits not only young people but also employees." Mr. Eggar said.

Mouroussalina, the youth representative, highlighted the difficulties young people face in the job market. He urged all the stakeholders to be more willing and persistent in fighting youth unemployment.

The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Mr. Modeste Kerekou, praised the quality of work done at SOS Children's Villages Benin and the YouthCan project initiative! He then said that it is a project in line with the government's action programme before launching it.

Following the launch, a panel discussion on the theme "Public Sector, Private Sector and Civil Society Partnership for Youth Employability" was held. This debate, moderated by Yvette, a student in finance and a participant in the SOS Alternative Care programme, provided the audience with an overview of the synergy needed to create favourable conditions to the employability of young people. It is important to remember that the students of the SOS Hermann Gmeiner Fine Art Secondary School provided the cultural animation of the ceremony.


Our programmes in Abomey-Calavi, Dassa-Zoumé and Natitingou in Benin enable us to fulfil the rights of thousands of children. SOS Children’s Villages Benin is a member of Children's Villages International, operational in 133 countries and territories.