The first Youth Forward biannual meeting in Ghana was held on June 7th, 2016, at the Fiesta Royale Hotel. Youth Forward, an initiative conducted in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, Overseas Development Institute, Solidaridad, and some other organizations, aims to build the capacity of youth especially in Ghana and Uganda to get jobs and/or grow their businesses, as well as access to finance which will increase the range of opportunities available to help them better their lives.
The event was organized by PDA Ghana and served to assemble forty representatives in total from all the Youth Forward partners in Ghana including YIEDIE and MASO, as well as field officers and other youth representatives, so that they could learn from each other by discussing and sharing experiences. The meeting also created new opportunities to expand understanding on what works and strategies that do not yield the best results.
Reports from participant organizations recounted experiences with urban youth (YIEDIE) and rural youth (MASO). YIEDIE, which creates opportunities for disadvantaged youth to be trained and work in the construction sector, shared some experiences from working with youth in urban settings, relaying their approaches to urban youth mobilisation and screening, managing youth expectations, and the key lessons they have learned for programing in the future. MASO, an organization that provides training, technical and financial support to youth in cocoa farming, also shared their experiences in working with rural youth.