We run a study club for university students. Like so many African students, they live in horrible conditions for 4 years, scrabbling for access to books and seats in lecture theatres so that they can have a shot at a good job. So many have none of the connections they would need to actually get one. Here connections matter more than exam results. So many of these young women will end up starting their own businesses, or developing the ones they are running to pay for their studies. They come back to us and tell us how what we taught them has often been more valuable than their university studies. They have the prestige of being graduates, but they learnt the skills to run a business from us: timetabling, communication, collaboration with others. Fundamentally they are confident. They believe in themselves and they make better decisions.

Youth Worker, Nigeria

We hope that this guide leaves you with the conviction that informal and non-formal learning activities, better known as youth work, are important for young women. Such activities help them to do better at school and socially. They laid the foundations for them to do better professionally and in creating change around them – in their choices and contributions to society. 

We hope this leads you to see the importance of the work you are already doing or might do in the future. This is one of 6 guides we have written to share African youth workers’ insights and we would love for you to explore them. 

And we would also love to hear from you! Are these ideas useful? What other top tips would you share? The more we can share our good ideas with each other, the more we will help each other to lead well and empower young women for the future!

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