Baraka training programme
20 January 2022
16 February 2023
‘Before, Baraka consisted only of shacks without water and electricity, which poor people occupied illegally, leaving them living in constant insecurity,’ explains Amadou Alpha Ba, project coordinator of the German YOU Foundation in Dakar. ‘Most of the residents are war refugees from Guinea and people from the Serer ethnic group who fled the drought. Some also come from Ghana, Benin and Togo,’ adds Anna Gueye, representative of the Austrian NGO HOPE'87 Senegal. ‘People have difficulties earning a living. Even earning 1,000 CFA francs (1.50 euros) a day is not easy.’ To improve the quality of life of the 210 households in Baraka and to ensure a sustainable future for people living there, the YOU Foundation, with the support of the Sawiris Foundation and CasaOrascom, is transforming the slum into a modern district, building houses and infrastructure and improving health care, education and training for the population.
The Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" supports the project through a training programme for 28 professions, which aims to bring people out of informality and build sustainable small businesses. Specifically, in-service training is being provided and work sites are gradually being equipped. The aim is to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs for young people through training, to improve technical and vocational skills through specific training and to promote quality artisanal production by providing equipment.
In May 2021, the first training courses were launched in cooperation with the Senegalese Ministry of Employment, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, Apprenticeship and Professional Integration and three vocational schools in Dakar. The residents of Baraka were able to choose from various trades, including tailoring, metalwork and carpentry, electrics, construction, formwork, painting crafts, processing of local and fishery products, hairdressing, cleaning, and new information and communication technologies.
Depending on the topic, the training courses last from two to six months and are held in Wolof, Pulaar and French, based on the educational level of the participants (which ranges from illiterate to university graduate). Following the training, the artisans receive technical materials such as washing machines, computers, sewing machines and construction machines, which enable them to take part in income-generating activities.
This project aims to train some 500 people and create around 350 jobs in Baraka.
So far, more than 50 people have been trained in various crafts such as carpentry, electrics and construction. The equipment is financed by Invest for Jobs and partly purchased in Germany, has arrived in Baraka and will be distributed following the successful completion of the training courses. ‘The materials are provided to each group of people in a particular profession so that they can form economic interest groups and small or medium-sized enterprises,’ explains Amadou Alpha Ba.
In the long term, the plan is to house the various professional groups in a shopping center in the district and to make Baraka known as a place for high-quality crafts. In this way, the project should also have a positive effect on the image of the place, explains Anna Gueye. Moving away from the idea of a slum, to ‘gratitude and recognition,’ which is what Baraka means in Mandingue and Pulaar. Thus, the families of Baraka can live with dignity in their neighbourhood with new prospects for the future.
The project in Baraka is being supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH as part of the Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
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