When the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Honduras Workforce Development Activity, Empleando Futuros (Employing Futures), launched in 2016, it focused primarily on job-training and violence-prevention activities for the country’s most vulnerable youth. To date, Empleando Futuros, implemented by Banyan Global, has trained almost 5,000 at-risk youth; more than 3,000 have obtained employment or returned to formal education and 89 percent improved their protective factors that contribute to violence reduction. In order to successfully train these at-risk youth and insert them into quality jobs, Empleando Futuros created and adapted at least 17 manuals, tools, methodologies, and processes for use by the project and its network of Honduran vocational training organizations.
Now, almost four years later, Empleando Futuros is working with USAID/Honduras to transfer the catalogue of materials to four of the project’s partner organizations. The project is also providing these organizations with training and support to institutionalize the catalogue within their operations. In March 2020, Empleando Futuros and USAID/Honduras held a transference ceremony to sign memorandums of understanding with the Center for Human Resource Development (CADERH), San Juan Bosco, Libre Expresión, and Honduras’ National Commission for Non-Formal Education (CONEANFO), each of which has used the materials as a successful project partner and will carry on the project’s legacy when it comes to a close.
The catalogue includes guidance and materials for developing mentorship programs, integrating cognitive behavioral models, and implementing market-driven courses focused on life skills, basic labor competencies, job readiness, and customer service. The Choloma Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represent the interests of some of Honduras’ largest employers, has already committed to train over 400 youth. Now that the catalogue has been transferred to the local organizations, CADERH has committed to training an additional 400 youth in 2020, Libre Expresión will train 200 more youth, CONEANFO will train 800 more youth, and San Juan Bosco will train 600 more youth.
The Empleando Futuros team in Honduras was pleased to have Banyan Global’s president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Meaghan Smith, as one of its keynote speakers at the transference ceremony. Violeta Guillen, project management specialist at USAID/Honduras, also participated in the event. Perla Casco, executive director of Libre Expresión, affirmed the importance of transferring the catalogue to the local organizations: “This methodological transfer serves to strengthen our institution, since now we will be able to institutionalize each tool and methodology in our organization. This enables us to offer these tools to more youth in our future initiatives; and additionally these will greatly facilitate our work as Libre Expresión.”
By the end of the ceremony, the 17 manuals, tools, methodologies, and processes were transferred to each organization through both physical and digital platforms so they may adapt them to their own plans for program expansion well beyond the life of the project. Empleando Futuros looks forward to hosting similar transference events later this year, while its support to these organizations, the government of Honduras, and the private sector will continue until the end of the project. Through the catalogues, USAID’s investment in training thousands of at-risk youth will now be used to reach an additional 2,500 youth and benefit 10,000 family members in just one year. The transference to local ownership is just one example of how Banyan Global, through Empleando Futuros, partners with USAID to support countries’ journeys to self-reliance.