Organizations are invited to submit proposals focused on creating economic opportunities for disadvantaged youth
TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The MasterCard Foundation today issued a $50 million Request for Proposals, seeking innovative, collaborative and scalable approaches for creating economic opportunities for young people by providing skills-training and access to financial services. The announcement is part of the Foundation's new Economic Opportunities for Youth strategy, which will improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged young people through employment and enterprise development.
Uganda and Ghana, the two countries that are the initial focus of the initiative, young people between the ages of 15 and 24 form approximately 20 percent of the population. In both Uganda and Ghana they form approximately 20 percent of the population. Their unemployment and underemployment challenges are exacerbated by the limited access to financial services and a mismatch between the skills they receive in formal education and the needs of local labour markets. This results in high levels of unemployment and underemployment.
To date, The MasterCard Foundation has committed $177 million to projects in 16 African countries that address the needs of disadvantaged young people who are entering their working years. As a significant funder of education, job and enterprise training programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Foundation advocates a unique and comprehensive approach, combining market-relevant skills-training, mentoring and access to financial services. This support helps more young people realize their personal and economic potential as employees, entrepreneurs or self-employed workers.
The Foundation is inviting non-governmental organizations, financial service providers, as well as private sector and academic institutions to present collaborative models that will enable disadvantaged youth to build successful livelihoods. The areas of focus for this round will be in the agriculture/agribusiness sector in Ghana and Uganda, as well as the construction sector in Ghana.
The MasterCard Foundation is also committed to the principle of youth engagement and is seeking proposals that will demonstrate youth involvement in program design, implementation and evaluation.
About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada, with approximately $9 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 46 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation's programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is separate and independent from the company. Its policies, operations and funding decisions are determined by its own Foundation Board of Directors and President and CEO.
For further information, please contact:
The MasterCard Foundation
 World Bank, Health Nutrition and Population Statistics 2012.
SOURCE: The MasterCard Foundation
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