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BILT Learning Labs are an opportunity for TVET stakeholders to explore specific Innovation and Learning Practices from Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

This Learning Lab, entitled "Young Africa – Embracing equal opportunities for women in TVET both online and offline", was held on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023, 09:00 – 10:30 CET (10:00 – 11:30 CAT), and focused on how the Young Africa confederation, an alliance of independently owned and operated NGOs in Africa, is supporting young women in TVET.

To watch the video with French translation, click here.

Young Africa International: Transforming Young Lives

Combatting youth unemployment is challenging. Moreover, within TVET we often focus on the programme itself, sometimes forgetting that our students have extenuating life circumstances which impact on their ability to actively participate. Founded in 1998, Young Africa International (YAI) works to bridge that gap by supporting youth who lack either familial, societal or financial resources.

Young Africa International is the parent organization to Young Africa, an alliance of independent NGOs. The largest donor to YAI is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands, but the organization also receives third party funding and maintains a unique franchise model for its training centres. Through this model, every skills training department is shaped into an economically viable and self-reliant enterprise with the capacity to generate wealth and create jobs for the local community. The organization currently boasts 9 training centres in 4 countries. When a student enrols in one of the 40 trade programmes available, they not only learn a profession, but also life skills to assist them with the transition into adulthood, including digital skills training. Community outreach activities are also available to participants, such as day care facilities

Moreover, YAI has established pop-up centres in Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mozambique to cater to rural youths who have limited access to vocational training. At these centres, vulnerable young women are attached to local businesspeople and get training in various courses. Building on YAIs continuous successes, the “Digital Vocational Education and Training for Young Africans” project, co-funded by Erasmus+, SERVE, and YAI, will further expand the organization's reach into not only cyberspace, but seven additional countries. Through the development of an eLearning platform and Graduate Toolbox, the project aims to reach over 8000 students by its completion in 2024.

The flexibility and holistic approach to an individual's well-being enables YAI to grow and develop activities based on the specific needs of their students. In this environment, young women in the programme are not only empowered, but also are given equal opportunities to flourish.


Times are indicated in CET.

8 March 2023

09:00 – 09:10: Opening and Welcome to the BILT Learning Lab Series

  • Mr Michael Schwarz, Deputy Head of Division ‘International Advisory Services / Cooperation with Partner Institutions,’ BIBB
09:10 – 09:20: Key Concepts and Introduction of Speakers

09:20 – 09:30: Elevator Pitch

Introducing Young Africa International

  • Mr Wellington Muchechetere, Grants Coordinator, Young Africa International
09:30 – 10:00: Panel Discussion

Through its tailor-made model, how is Young Africa International working to provide unique opportunities that support women in TVET?

Moderator: Ms Jessica Rosenfeld, BIBB


  • Mr Collen Mungani, Skills2Live Programme Manager, Young Africa Zimbabwe
  • Ms Ennie Chiramba, Projects Coordinator, Young Africa International
  • Ms Esther Refu, CEO, Angles Academy
  • Ms Yvonne Buluka, Graduate, Early Childhood Development Programme, Young Africa Zimbabwe
10:00 –10:25 Live Q&A Session

  • All participants
Moderator: Ms Jessica Rosenfeld, BIBB

10:25 – 10:30 Closing

  • Mr Michael Schwarz, Deputy Head of Division ‘International Advisory Services / Cooperation with Partner Institutions,’ BIBB


Mr Wellington Muchechetere, Grants Coordinator, Young Africa International

Mr Wellington Muchechetere is a Grants Coordinator at Young Africa International and he has been responsible for coordinating all of YA programmes and projects for the past 4 years. He is a project management professional with over 12 years of project management and over 8 years of grants management (4 years of USAID projects) experience, highlighting a track record of successfully closing 97% of the grants coordinated and achieving an average of over 85% of Key Performance Indicators during the process. Mr Muchechetere is highly proficient in designing developmental and humanitarian projects involving young people, adolescent girls and young women and broadly, vulnerable and marginalized groups of people. He has experience managing projects in the field of education, more specifically in vocational training, health, child protection, nutrition, livelihood, and youth empowerment, funded by donors such as USAID, EU, FCDO, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and GIZ, among others. He also has an impressive record of leading research teams in conducting baseline, mid-term, endline, market and feasibility studies.

Mr Muchechetere holds an Advanced Master’s in International Development from Radboud University, Master’s and Bachelor's degrees in Development Studies from Midlands State University, and a postgraduate diploma in Child Sensitive Social Policies from the Zimbabwe Women’s University. Additionally, he has several certifications in project management, monitoring and evaluation, resource mobilization and data analysis. The passion and desire to make the world a better place is the driving force behind the numerous milestones he has achieved.

Mr Collen Mungani, Skills2Live Programme Manager, Young Africa Zimbabwe

Mr Collen Mungani is the Skills2Live Programme Manager with Young Africa Zimbabwe. The Skills2Live programme (2021-2026) is currently in Phase II, and is run in partnership with Frontline AIDS, IOM Mozambique, and Ideialab, with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands through its Embassy in Maputo. Mr Mugani is responsible for youth empowerment for employment and entrepreneurship. He is a community development practitioner with 15 years of experience prior to joining Young Africa.

Mr Mugani began working on the Skills2Live project in its pilot phase back in 2019, and has served as the Programme Manager since January 2021. He is responsible for coordination of all project planning, implementation and budget management for both centre-based training and mobile training. Additionally, he is responsible for direct training and post training support to graduates. This includes setting up Youth Economic Booths, Internal Savings and Lending Schemes methodology training (culminating in the setting up of ISALS groups), graduate follow-ups (to assess the levels of economic activities they are engaged in), support in product development, value addition and diversification, plus linking graduates with potential employers and markets for products.

Ms Ennie Chiramba, Projects Coordinator, Young Africa International

Ms Ennie Chiramba is a Projects Coordinator at Young Africa International, responsible for Zimbabwe and Namibia donor-funded projects. She is a certified agile projects management practitioner with over 10 years of experience in project management and skills development. She holds a Master’s in Development Studies with a specialization in Community Development and additional qualifications in humanitarian work. Ms Chiramba has vast experience in youth social and economic transformation through skills training. Having worked in Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia empowering youths, her satisfaction comes from youths claiming their space in local economies.

Ms Esther Refu, Entrepreneur, CEO of Angles Academy

Esther Refu is a distinguished Early Childhood Development (ECD) franchisee with 22 years of experience working in the education sector. She has served at Young Africa Zimbabwe for 22 years as an ECD Franchisee. Her services include providing ECD training to young people and running day care facilities at the Young Africa Chitungwiza Campus. She has been instrumental in ensuring that young nursing mothers participate in training. This has been done with the aim of ensuring that young mothers are not hindered from attending courses, through the provision of child-friendly day care facilities. Esther Refu is a member of the Zimbabwe Peace Institute (ZIMPI), and she is also a part-time lecturer at Midlands State University. She is passionate about women’s empowerment and facilitation of spaces for women’s professional development.

Ms Yvonne Buluka, Graduate of the Early Childhood Development Programme

Ms Yvonne Buluka began studying Early Childhood Development in Young Africa Zimbabwe in January 2022. Ms Buluka completed her course of study in November 2022 and graduated in December of the same year. After graduation, she was offered permanent employment in the pre-school where she had spent her attachment. Ms Buluka grew up as an orphan in the rural areas in Mutare and managed to complete her A’ Levels because a well-wisher had paid her fees. Unfortunately, she had no way to pay for university. Young Africa offered her a place at the hostels so she would not miss her training sessions due to the transportation costs . She says she is grateful to Young Africa and the Skills2Live project which has given her a skill plus sexual reproductive health training, which has helped her live an informed life with discipline and power to make decisions about her own sexuality. As a female graduate, Yvonne was highly empowered by life skills, sexual reproductive health and entrepreneurship. She is now earning a decent salary and is also a member of a viable Internal Savings and Lending Scheme group that is helping to sustain their poultry project, an initiative they started after their entrepreneurship training at YAI.

This Learning Lab is presented by

The BILT project is implemented by

with support of

and sponsored by

UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training UN Campus, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1 53113 Bonn, Germany
unevoc.bilt @ unesco.org
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