PARSA Job Corps is a new program at PARSA for youth to experience training as well as on-the-job work as they decide on an economic track for their futures. Click Here to learn about how one of our Scouts, Mohammad, inspired us to launch the PARSA Job Corps, and why the program is so dear to our hearts.
For our Boys' Job Corps:
All of our boys are in school and participate in the Afghan Scout program but often economic realities for Afghan families require that they also work to bring in income to pay for food. They often do this by working hard labor, begging on the street and through other risky activities. By participating in PARSA Job Corps, our youth have an opportunity to train in various vocational skills that result in either work or the opportunity to start a small business.
In teams of 8, each group decides on what training they would like to receive and after the training how they can utilize the training to earn a living. For our younger Scouts in PARSA Job Corps they learn to earn for their Scout uniforms and community service projects. PARSA Job Corps #1 has had a preliminary training in small engine repair and now they are learning cell phone repair. They are building a small workshop with the help of adult volunteers and will soon begin working with their trainers on actually repairing engines and cell phones. They have decided as a team to find or buy small engines, repair them and resell them to fund their community service projects. PARSA staff will work with them to learn how to run a business in the process.
For our Girls' Job Corps:
On-the-job training in work skills is an opportunity that most girls do not have because of cultural constraints. Girls in Afghanistan can finish high school or college but not know how to apply their technical skills in a work setting. In PARSA Job Corps #3, girls are learning a variety of skills but most importantly they are learning how to work comfortably in a public setting. Being on time, service skills, initiating work tasks, and attention to detail are all skills they are being mentored in as they work on Fridays at the PARSA Friday Brunch. They will be learning cooking, hospitality, computer skills, and administrative skills as their interest develops, but most important they are gaining confidence in a work setting. Girls participating in the PARSA Job Corps begin to envision a future beyond early marriage, and families often will start to support a career for their daughters rather than relegating them to a life where marrying young is their only option.
Child labor is a stark reality in Afghanistan and more extensive than we know given the 40% unemployment rate. In this program we work to give our youth training and work experience and in the neediest cases youth under the age of 18 can receive a small stipend for participating in the program to prevent the family from sending the youth into riskier work. After age 18, our youth qualify for supervised odd jobs to earn money to support their families while in school or vocational training. Often these jobs will turn into permanent positions. PARSA adheres to the child labor laws of Afghanistan, while also paying attention to realities that Afghan families and youth face.
Support our PARSA Job Corps
PARSA is starting this program with donations from PARSA supporters as well as a small stipend from HALO, Betty Tisdale’s foundation that originally helped us start the Scout program. In order to reach our goal of accommodating 50 youth in Kabul and Bamiyan this year we need to raise $47,000 to support program costs. This will allow us to bring in trainers for different skills so youth can learn on the job. Please assist us to grow this vital program. Click Here to Donate directly via PayPal, and include “PARSA Job Corps” in the comments section.
Meet the First PARSA Job Corps
Below are the eight boys who make up our first boys PARSA Job Corps: Job Corps #1. If you are interested in supporting them, Click Here to Donate directly via PayPal or click here for other donation methods. You can click on each of their pictures to see more photos of them and learn their stories. We will be introducing the boys in Job Corps #2 and the girls in Job Corps #3 in the near future.