Challenging the lack of employment opportunities

This overview of current initiatives and ideas in Dadamac, is related to lack of employment opportunities in Nigeria and elsewhere. The focus is on youths, but our concerns are in fact wider than that.

Dadamac Knowledge Centre - a practical reponse

Dadamac Knowledge Centre - Dadamac Knowledge Centre - Learning for Livelihoods is a local response (at Fantusam in Nigeria) to provide tertiary education and vocational training to local youths. It's in its early stages, but will be embedded in Fantsuam Foundation's many existing integrated community development initiatives, and will also connect with local businesses.

First Thursday and a widespread problem

At Dadamac's First Thursday meeting in October the themes of youths, livelihoods and violence dominated our chat, with contributions from Kenya, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, UK and USA October First Thursday - youths, livelihoods, unemployment, violence, David and Goliath, and more It was obvious that these are issues of deep concern to the Dadamac Community, and we need to find ways to address them. 

Dadamac Day 2013

Dadamac Day, our annual (ever changing) event happens in November. This could be a good opportunity for the Dadamac Community to meet (online of course) and rub minds around these issues in more depth. David Mutua (a Kenyan currently living in USA) is setting up a Wiggio group for this.

Work and livelihoods - not  just "off the peg" jobs

Some youths may go on to find "off the peg" jobs, but others may need to create their own opportunities, independently or in the company of others. There is plenty of useful work waiting to be done, some of it financially valuable, some socially valuable, some a mixture of the two. 

Dadamac Foundation

If I can take our tiny registered charity, Dadamac Foundation, to a higher level then it could support some of the training activities (initially at Dadamac Knowledge Centre at Fantsuam, and later elsewhere). I imagine this sponsorship would copy the model of the Cisco academy at Fantsuam, where students unable to cover their full fees have been helped through the profits of the micro-finance programme.

A larger Dadamac Foundation could also support socially beneficial job creation (both directly and by finding sponsors, philanthropists and other souces of support).

At present Dadamac's impact is limited by the time and skills available through its tiny "team" in the UK - i.e. me (working in my own time), plus two other trustees to make sure we have AGMs and accounts in order, plus Andy and Ryan who do the techie magic to make this webspace work. If you are interested in getting involved see How to help Dadamac - From re-tweeting to mentoring

A practical and urgent vision

The issues we are looking at here, and the approaches we'll take, have global significance.

These plans aren't just about local impact, important though that is. This is about getting a "local protoype" right in a specific context - learning what works and what doesn't, ironing out the wrinkles, then sharing what we've learned - to benefit people in many other areas. Fantsuam is the best place to get started for a multitude of reasons.

This isn't only about livelihoods, youths and all the local troubles related to unemployment either. It's about much wider aspects of local community development and living standards. And it's about much wider aspects of potential conflict. These are explored in the post "For want of a nail" - Why a stronger Dadamac is urgently needed which bounces off a video by Vinay Gupta  exploring global inequalities, and some stark choices we need to make.

This isn't about abstract ideas. It's about real people with real needs. It's about deeply serious life choices, risks, threats and opportunities. The recent Lampedusa boat disaster involved people fleeing war-torn areas, but people trapped in poverty also take huge risks to get to a better life. Initiatives like the Dadamac Knowledge Centre (Dadamac Knowledge Centre - Learning for Livelihoods) could help that better life to happen locally, to the benefit of all of us. This idea is explored in Pam - we want street lights!

Local and online

The idea is to combine local knowledge and expertise with external knolwege and expertise - in relationships of mutual respect, much as we did with the transnational online support group for Teachers Talking (Overview of Teachers Talking). It will be a two way flow. There is plenty of local experitse we can tap into, not just on local life styles and needs, but high level skills and knowledge from "local" practitioners and academia, a few hours drive away.  

This is about serious local upskilling in various areas -  training people to be technicians, mechanics, engineers, and many other things that can positively impact living standards. This is deeper than "local handicrafts" and global markets. It is influenced by the ideas of Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered by British E. F. Schumacher. It is also about helping people far away to understand local realites, so that if they get involved it will be in appropriate ways.

Addtional connections

All of my practical work, and most of my thinking, relates to 21st century lifestyles, life-long-learning, and livelihoods. Everything mentioned above is related to the Dadamac Community. My connections regarding the list below are outside the Dadamac Community, but I see connections between them and challenging the lack of employment opportunities, in theory and in practice, locally and globally, face-to-face and online. At this point I'll simply add the list, but won't discuss how and why they connect.

Getting involved

If you want to be involved in the Dadamac Day discussion, or to join with Dadamac in any other way please contact me, Pamela McLean,using the contact form.

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