THE US government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) launched a new project that will support the education, employment and livelihood needs of out-of-school youth in Davao City.
The project called Opportunity 2.0: Second-Chance Opportunities for Out-of-School Youth was launched on Wednesday, September 30. It is a five-year program that aims to contribute a "stronger" education and workforce development systems that will reach larger numbers of out-of-school youth, preparing them to transition to further education and training as well as immediate jobs and long-term careers.
Opportunity 2.0 is a joint partnership of USAid along with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), and different local governments that will provide relevant education, employability skills,and work experience to 180,000 out-of-school youth across the Philippines.
The program will include DepEd’s enhanced Alternative Learning Systems program, Tesda’s skills training programs and local government programs for youth.
The project funding, worth P1.9 billion, will work with local governments in 12 cities across the country to set up Youth Development Alliances that mobilize resources to help their out-of-school youth. The program will also work with over 2,200 employers and at least 50 education or training institutions, including major hubs like Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Davao.
A Youth Development Alliance consisting of government agencies, local businesses, schools, and the youth themselves and led by the mayor will be established in the city which will coordinate local efforts to help the out-of-school youth.
Present during the launch were DepEd-Davao Regional Director Evelyn Fetalvero, Tesda-Davao Regional Director Lorenzo Macapili, USAid Philippines Director of Education Thomas LeBlanc and Councilor Pilar Braga representing Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who is currently on a leave.
LeBlanc, during his speech, said the program has already benefited thousands of youth in USAid’s previous work.
“A key element in this journey of youth transformation is partnership. Alliances that consist of committed and capable individuals and institutions who selflessly put in their time, effort, and resources to advance our shared goal has to be a central feature in improving the lives of youth in communities...across the country,” LeBlanc said.
Braga, the City Council committee on education head, said during her speech that the City Government is supportive of the program and hopes it will be a long-term collaboration.
The councilor, who is a teacher by profession, said she had been pushing for ordinances and policies in the council addressing the needs of out-of-school youth in the city.