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When dreams become reality: Meet Alberto

Did you know: The global economy will need to create 600 million new jobs over the next 10 years (that’s 5 million jobs each month!) just to keep pace with the projected youth unemployment rates? It’s true: our young population is growing fast, but can we keep up?

Here at Plan, we recognize the importance of empowering youth, and one way we do that is by ensuring they get the education and training they need to enter the fast-paced job market.

Alberto sitting in front of his sewing machine.

Alberto’s always had a passion for tailoring, and now he can use his skills to fulfill his dreams.

Unlocking the potential of youth

Alberto, 22, knew exactly what he wanted to be – a tailor. He saved up enough money to buy his own sewing machine. The only problem was he didn’t know how to use it.

Alberto had to find a way to put his passion to work. So he joined Plan’s Youth Empowerment program in Mozambique – a program that helps ambitious youth enroll in technical training programs aimed to help them gain the skills they need to land on their own two feet.

For Alberto, the program was a perfect fit. After enrolling in the tailoring course, he learned how to operate his sewing machine and began creating clothing, just like he envisaged.

Alberto graduated from the program with ease, and soon after launched a tailoring cooperative with 6 other graduates from his course. Today, he’s his own boss and it’s something he truly appreciates.

“The fact that I’m now self-employed has made me independent,” he says. “I can contribute money for food and purchase school materials for my brothers, which has meant a lot for my family.”

Two young men selling clothes at a market

Alberto sells the clothes he makes at a cooperative he set up with 6 other graduates from his program.

A career path determined by passion, not gender

Alberto understands that most people in Mozambique see tailoring as a woman’s job. But through his hard work, Alberto discovered there’s no such thing as women’s work. Any career is possible, you just need the passion.

“I thought that tailoring was for women because it’s a delicate activity that requires a lot of patience,” he explains. “But after the course, I now know that it is dependent on skills and not on gender.”

It’s this outlook on life that has Alberto looking to achieve even more. In the coming years, he’d like his cooperative to expand, offering more services and providing clothing for a greater clientele. Alberto’s confidence, however, is something he credits Plan’s Youth Empowerment program for.

“I now have more confidence in myself, my new skills, and the fact that I can contribute positively to my family and community,” Alberto proudly explains.

Pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

73.3 million young people around the world are currently unemployed. Unlike Alberto, today’s youth will not be able to escape poverty by 2030 if they do not have the support to gain the skills to find employment. SDG #8 states that we must promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all. Reaching full youth employment is only possible with the collaboration of government and public institutions at all levels.

Plan is part of the Solutions for Youth Employment coalition (S4YE) which is committed to seeing 150 million more youth at work by 2030. Together, we envision a world where an empowered and employed young generation drives global prosperity. Plan will continue to support youth like Alberto, helping them find their dreams and their independence.

You can help, too!