Supporting education programme for unemployed youth in Rio de Janeiro

Unemployed young people are taught the necessary skills to find employment or pursue an education

One of the major challenges in the favela districts of Rio de Janeiro is the high level of youth unemployment. There has been a rapid rise in employment opportunities in Rio de Janeiro because of economic growth, and as a result of Brazil's selection as host nation for the 2014 World Cup in soccer and the Olympics in 2016.

The problem is that many young people in the favelas lack the required skills to apply for these jobs, and therefore miss out on the benefits of the city's success. Hempel provides support for the local non-profit organisation Ecos do Futuro, which was established in April 2003 to boost the social and economic inclusion of young people, especially women and Afro-Brazilians from the favelas who are in a socially and economically vulnerable situation.

Ecos do Futuro aims to break longstanding cycles of disadvantage, and to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality, respect for ethnic and cultural differences, consideration of others, education, and a sense of belonging to the city. Entry into the labour force will improve the living conditions of these young people, and empower them to exercise their rights as citizens.

A total of 150 young people will be involved in this eight-month training programme in the retail and service areas. The project will teach them the necessary skills and then help and support them through the process of finding a job. Results from previous projects show that 90 percent of the young trainees will find worthwhile employment or be motivated to pursue a higher education qualification. Both these outcomes increase their social mobility and opportunities to change their life path.