The last milestone has finally been reached by the Empowering Marginalised Youth of Bangkok for Productive Citizenship Programme, Year 3. World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) and Citi Foundation have recently held the 3rd-year Youth Ready Work Market Place and provided a space and opportunity for vulnerable youth from 16-25 years in Bangkok and vicinity participating in the programme to showcase their talents in various vocations, including make-up artist, special effect makeup artist, manicurist, vintage barber, dental assistant, nursing assistant, and Thai massage and spa therapist. Young entrepreneurs have also exhibited their dream businesses that are no longer just a dream today, such as traditional Thai snack catering and make-up services.
Dr Sarawut Rachasrimuang, National Director, WVFT, said that the Market Place was one of the activities under the Empowering Marginalised Youth of Bangkok for Productive Citizenship Programme, which WVFT has run –with the financial support of Citi Foundation– for 3 consecutive years. The programme’s objective is to build the capacities and unlock the limitations of vulnerable adolescents who are unlikely to pursue higher education and end up being unskilled labour, unemployed, and deprived of economic opportunity. Through this programme, the young participants have been equipped with life skills and vocational abilities based on their aptitude and the demand for labour. This will enable youth to generate income and provide for themselves in the future and help lessen youth-related problems, such as drug abuse and teen moms.
‘The Youth Ready Work Market Place has an objective to give space to the youth participants to exhibit their vocational skills and readiness to enter the real workplace, as well as to run their startups or begin their self-employment’.
Ms Wanvisa Komindr, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Citibank Thailand, shared her opinion about the programme: ‘Through these 3 years of the programme implementation, we have witnessed the progress that these young people have achieved and seen how the programme itself has been relentless in working toward youth vocational development and ensuring that these kids will secure decent jobs and steady income, as well as proper skills to lead their lives in society, and finally realise the more promising future. Something we’ve seen as we are running the course is their enthusiasm and eagerness to practise their vocational and entrepreneurship skills. We are proud of them for their awareness of the benefits they’ll get from this course’.
‘Rose’, or Sunisa, is one of the youth participants who has featured her make-up talents in this event. The young lady reflected on her life transformation: ‘I have always got a passion for beauty, make-up, and everything about fashion. But I could not afford to go to any beauty school because the training fee was so expensive. I have to work while studying and also provide for my mother, who now suffers from health problems and can’t work as hard as before. This programme has fulfilled and made my dream come true. Youth Ready Work curriculum walked us through the self-search and exploration of our personal career interest. It has reconfirmed me that I have walked on the right career path. Recently, someone has expressed their interest in my make-up work which I’ve posted on Facebook and contacted me to do make-up for a fashion show in Vietnam. I would like to thank WVFT and Citi Foundation for giving me a vocational training opportunity and allowing me to follow my dream’.
At the event, Dr Sarawut Rachasrimuang, National Director, WVFT, has also presented plaques of honour to the executive of Citi Foundation, which has constantly supported the programme for 3 consecutive years, and to the executive of SME D Bank, which has provided resource persons to pass on business management knowledge to adolescents interested in being owners of SMEs or becoming self-employed, as well as to the executives of the 31 leading vocational institutes that have equipped the youth participants with proper vocational skills.
Thanks to the collaboration, through the 3-year implementation of the Empowering Marginalised Youth of Bangkok for Productive Citizenship Programme, more than 1,200 vulnerable adolescents in Bangkok and vicinity have applied for the programme: more than 500 have completed the Youth Ready for Work for Life curriculum, 314 have received vocational training, 111 have been employed, secured proper jobs, and provided for themselves, 115 have become business entrepreneurs or self-employed, and 88 have pursued higher vocational education. The programme has not only cut back youth problems that could have adversely impacted society but also built every young citizen to become a cog in the wheel that drives the nation forward.