ANGELES CITY — United States Agency for International Development (USAID) partnered with the city government of Angeles in launching a program geared towards the development of out-of-school youth.
The program, dubbed “Opportunity 2.0: Second-Chance Opportunities for Out-of-School Youth”, is part of the initiatives to support the education, employment, and livelihood needs of out-of-school youth in Angeles City.
In his message, USAID Philippines Director of Education Thomas LeBlanc said there is a need to maximize the potential of out-of-school youth, who accounts for 10-12 percent of 50 million Filipinos, in order to accelerate and sustain the economy in Angeles City and in the country.
“In working with the vulnerable out-of-school youth, we feel that with their limited options to get out of difficult circumstances, they think of themselves as unproductive members of their communities. However, by working with various sectors, we were able to encourage the youth to start believing in themselves and their ability to do better and change to be productive,” LeBlanc said.
The director added that by working with the government and industries, they were able to provide the out-of-school youth with the opportunity to participate in life skills and technical vocational skills training, alternative learning system, and community engagement activities.
LeBlanc also stressed the importance of building a youth development alliance consisting of government agencies, local businesses, schools, and the youth themselves which will coordinate local efforts to help the out-of-school youth.
“A key element in this journey of youth transformation is partnership. Alliances that consist ofcommitted and capable individuals and institutions who selflessly put in their time, effort, andresources to advance our shared goal has to be a central feature in improving the lives of youthin communities in Angeles City and across the country,” he said.
For its part, Angeles City thanked USAID for this partnership and called on local stakeholders to work together to help the next generation meet their potential.
“This initiative will contribute greatly in augmenting the city government’s ongoing programs in providing formal education, employability skills, and work experience for our out-of-school youth. I believe that with the right attitude, knowledge, and skills they can play a fundamental role in nation building. With your help, we look forward to providing them with the kind of life that they deserve,” Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr. said.
Angeles City is one of the 12 cities across the country chosen for this program.
Opportunity 2.0 is a five-year initiative that will improve the learning and earning outcomes of out-of-school Filipino youth by working with key stakeholders from government, industry and academia to strengthen the education, training and employment systems at the national and local level. These include Department of Education’s enhanced Alternative Learning Systems program, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s skills training programs, and local government programs for youth.