The mantra “teach a man to fish” has been the core guiding factor of YAI’s economic empowerment programs. This remains an area where the organization dedicates most of its resources to.
The provision of self-sustaining empowerment opportunities for young people in post war African nations has been something that YAI’s founder Kimmie Weeks has been passionate about. In one of his talks, Weeks notes that very often the young adult generation living in post war countries are easily written off because during the years of war, they lost the opportunity to keep up with regular classroom lessons and eventually too many years had passed for them to comfortably return to school. However, Weeks says these young people remain and untapped and extreme reservoir of talent that can still be tapped into. Says Weeks, “Yes, they’ve seen war and have lost years of their lives, but they are also filled with a deep burning survival flame that brought them through the worst nightmares. Give them a real opportunity to forge ahead and they will become the backbone of any postwar nation.”
YAI’s economic empowerment programs provide young people the opportunity to enroll in one of several skills training programs where they are given the gift and opportunity to learn a lifelong skill that can be used to earn an income.
There are specific economic empowerment programs for women’s empowerment, which also include a micro loan component.