It is quite a distance from the bustling Mochudi village centre to the home of Bakgatla Bolokang Matshelo, otherwise known as BBM. But the distance does not deter the youth in Mochudi from making the trek to attend the weekly training program. The programme focuses on Employment, Vocational and Entrepreneurship skills known as EVE, which is being sponsored by Barclays Bank of Botswana to the tune of P405, 000.

This week, BBM launched the first training which will cover values, self-confidence, goal setting, letter writing, CV development, career guidance and money management.

“As part of their involvement in the communities within which they operate, Barclays employees in Mochudi have agreed to provide money management training to the young people enrolled in the programme. Our vision is to be the ‘Go-To’ bank and Barclays is excited to have formed this partnership with the Bakgatla community. We will be training close to 150 young people, who will in turn create employment opportunities for other young people in the country,” Racheal Mushaike, Barclays Head of Marketing and Communication revealed.

She mentioned that Barclays and BBM have a long standing relationship through the bank’s annual Make a Difference Day activity, where the youth have been exposed to life skills training and basic life necessities that included provision of gardens, hygiene facilities and shelter.

“Last week more than 100 young people gathered in Mochudi to discuss issues of enterprise development and share experiences in running their individual enterprises. As a development partner Barclays was privileged to address them and share the bank’s vision and strategy for the youth in Botswana,” explained Yodit Molosi, BBB Community Relations Manager.

Scores of young people from Mochudi between 18 and 35 years will benefit from Project EVE whose main goal is to improve the quality of life of youth through employment training, vocational skills development and entrepreneurial training in the District. The programme allows youth to choose how they best see themselves building financially independent and productive lives.

BBM Coordinator, Ms. Stella Raphoto commended Barclays for the encouragement they offer young people, adding that the efforts will go a long way in complementing government efforts to create employment for them.

The young people have expressed interest in learning about brick laying, plumbing, electrician under vocational studies; working as shop assistants, petrol attendants, beauticians and housekeepers in hotels under employment and; developing businesses in poultry, horticulture, health gymnasiums and recycling oil.

“We have established other strategic partnerships to ensure the success of the program. We will be working with the University of Botswana – Business Clinic to provide the enterprise sessions. Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has agreed to provide mentoring services to them, whilst the Construction Industry Trust Fund and Madirelo will provide the vocational training,” said the Coordinator. She further revealed that they have started engaging other stakeholders to consider providing employment to the youth after they have completed their job-readiness training.