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Digital Television Company StarTimes Media and SOS Children’s Villages International have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (‘MOU’) that will see the two organizations partner towards supporting vulnerable families and children, with an emphasis on empowering youth in light of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (‘SDGs’).
The MOU will see StarTimes support SOS Children’s Villages programmes in over ten African countries, including Kenya, specifically in broadening local learning opportunities and extending diverse experiences to young people from SOS Children’s Villages programmes.
This will include technical and vocational skills training and mentorship, alongside driving access to digital television in SOS Children’s Villages programmes and benefitting from media exposure on the StarTimes platform.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, StarTimes Group Overseas Public Relations Director, Mr. William Masy, noted that the brand made a commitment to empowering youth during the YouthConnekt Africa Summit in Rwanda in 2017. The SOS Children’s Villages partnership represents a step forward towards facilitating the entry of youth into the job market and giving them the means to create a sustainable future for themselves and society.
“StarTimes Group is committed towards empowering youth and facilitating their entry, growth and development through availing themselves of mentorship and training opportunities. This partnership with SOS Children’s Villages is therefore very strategic, as we look forward towards imparting knowledge and skills to the next generation of our leaders,” noted Mr. Masy.
Resource sharing could be key
In this context, SOS Children’s Villages will share resources, skills and knowledge as far as youth employability and capacity building is concerned towards the implementation of the MOU.
For young people in alternative care, their first job is not only the first step towards independence. For them, their first job is a matter of survival – the difference between an independent life lived with dignity and a life plagued with further difficulty.
In Africa, 200 million people are aged between 15 and 24 years, comprising more than 20% of the total population. Demographic rates are growing fast, which will increase the pressure countries face in terms of job creation. Of this, youth make up 37% of the working-age population, but 60% of the total number of unemployed.
Ms. Shubha Murthi, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of SOS Children’s Villages International, commented: “Partnerships make our work possible. We can only accomplish what we do for children, young people and families thanks to the generosity, commitment and amplification of our message by corporate partners such as StarTimes. In East and Southern Africa, SOS Children’s Villages works closely with a wide range of companies and partners who have a vested interest in improving the lives of the communities they are working in. As a result, the impact of our work is stronger and more sustainable.