Creating sustainable career opportunities for young people is challenging in today’s society. To support motivated, smart career choices and prevent early dropouts, guidance is crucial. For this reason and with the support of the Hilton Global Foundation and the Conrad N Hilton Foundation, Rays of Hope has launched a career-building program. The programme is aimed at two groups of young people. The first group are those who are still at school (in grades 9- 11) but need to improve their levels of self-awareness, their understanding of the world beyond school, how important school subject choice is, and exposure to careers beyond the few that they know about (teacher, nurse, doctor, lawyer). The second group is young people who have recently completed school or dropped out and need a combination of personal and career/work insights, as well as the opportunity to volunteer to gain some experience.

Each grade in the first group will have approximately 50 young people in it, some activities will be available for all of them while other are targeted at a specific age group.

These include:

  • Baseline assignments targeted at learners in grade 9
  • Mentoring for learners in grade 11
  • Workshops benefitting all the learners
  • A Leadership Camp consisting of 150 children and 10 leaders
  • Computer literacy training / Coding targeted at learners in Grade 10
  • Career assessments for learners in Grade 9
  • Career Build targeted at learners in grade 9 & 11
  • Job exposure where each child attends a minimum of three “exposures”

The older group’s activities includes:

  • Psychometric testing
  • Mentoring
  • Workshops
  • Training and computer literacy
  • Work Experience
  • Entrepreneurship coaching
  • Driving lessons

According to the World Bank  low skills contribute to inequality and poverty. When skills development is done properly and from a young age, it is possible to reduce unemployment and underemployment, increase productivity, and improve living. The Rays of Hope career development program aims to help young people build strong foundations for their future and equip them with skills that will enhance their ability to make decisions that will empower them and their communities.