FRIEND/USP YEN Pilot Youths to Graduate

A high ranking senior official from the Brussels will represent the European Union at the graduation of for the first set of YEN graduates next month.

 GROW YEN is part of $6.4 Million FJD European Union funded project implemented  by FRIEND that equips farmers in the Sugar Industry with complementary means to sustain and improve their livelihoods, specifically from Sigatoka to Rakiraki on Viti Levu and Cane belt areas in Vanua Levu.

This includes promotion of income earning opportunities through complementary activities to sugar cane farming by providing the initial support of vocational training programs designed to assist farmers and industry workers and their dependents to develop new skills in other sectors.

GROW Manager Sandhya Narayan says, “YEN had been an award winning program at FRIEND that started in 2005 aimed at better equipping the youths for labour markets, however we were only able to work with 20 -40 youths per year with limited resources.  The funding from the EU allowed us to bring in partners like the University of the South Pacific, an acclaimed tertiary institute to provide recognition to the training.”

“GROW YEN training provides a 2 month soft/ office & IT skills training with USP after which the participants are placed into work attachments of up to six months. Participants are also required to put in volunteer hours for learning exposure as well as networking”

“We will be working with 200 youths as per project targets before the end of 2014,” says Sandhya.

The graduation ceremony marking the successful completion of the first group of 20 students will be held at USP Lautoka Campus and officiated by Head of Sugar Files from Brussels, Mr Jean Christophe VIRIEU on 8th April at 11.00 am.


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