YAWWA develops social entrepreneurs and innovators to increase civic engagement and people-to-people resilience throughout Niger. YAWWA energizes social entrepreneurs with innovative, practical and sustainable approaches and fosters an environment of innovation and exchange among youth leaders.
Much of Niger's population is vulnerable to shocks and stresses that encompass all areas of life: lack of economic opportunities, environmental degradation, civil disruptions, low education rates, and high maternal mortality. The Human Development Index reports that 92.4% of the population lives in multidimensional poverty. Years of drought have degraded once-fertile agricultural areas to the point where farmers cannot produce enough food. Rural men often resort to permanent or seasonal migration, stressing the already crowded urban areas where limited infrastructure and job markets cannot absorb more workers. The young women who remain in villages have limited options to care for their families due to social norms about women's roles. With 67% of the population under 25 years of age, youth unemployment and underemployment is an acute problem.
SNV implements the Youth, Advocacy, Women, Work, Alliances (YAWWA) project, in partnership with USAID, in five regions of Niger to increase civic engagement and create a culture of entrepreneurship. YAWWA strengthens youth leaders and promising social entrepreneurs in their communities by equipping them with the skills and resources necessary to identify, engage, and pursue meaningful opportunities. SNV targets youth organizations and change makers that have the potential to convert their localized civic activities into socially beneficial enterprises that can be expanded and replicated given the right knowledge, tools, and resources.
Through YAWWA SNV is creating a network of innovators across Niger and fosters dialogue and a culture of social entrepreneurship. SNV hosts exchange visits and forums to cultivate the spread of ideas and contracts for people who may otherwise feel they are working along against insurmountable obstacles. SNV also connects change makers using mobile phone technologies, capitalizing on the rapid expansion of cellphone and smartphone use across Niger. The networks formed by SNV allow for mentoring exchanges and problem solving across the five project regions: Niamey, Maradi, Diffa, Zinder, and Agadez.
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Strengthen institutional knowledge, capacity for, and application of social innovative practices for 4,000 youth and women entrepreneurs who will act as change makers in communities throughout Niger to help solve socioeconomic challenges
Increase impactful and inclusive political and economic participation of social innovators/ entrepreneurs and youth helping to solve socioeconomic challenges in Niger
Increase innovative and entrepreneurial employment and livelihood opportunities in multiple sectors in Niger, especially for marginalized youth