Saturday, August 31, 2013

Radio Foro - Youth Unemployment

Yarli Yanez presents: Radio Foro Desempleo
Background-Panelists Walter Molinari,
Maria Luisa Regalado, Lic. Jose Antonio Hernandez
“We dream about finishing our studies, growing up, and finding a great dignified job, but the reality that we are living is something very different” – Yarli Yanez.

Honduras is a young country! Even regionally it has a shockingly high birth rate and large population of dependents. Here it is common for a youth between the age of 13 and 21 to leave school to in order to work or, if they are lucky, work to put themselves through school and support their family. However, youth employment opportunities are less abundant than the scarce opportunities existing for adults. Therefore, there is high demand for work among youth resulting in unfair working conditions. If a youth is fortunate enough to find a job they are likely to face challenges obtaining a legal wage, working dignified hours, and continuing to study.

OYE Scholar, Gladys Recarte
Challenges are amplified when gender is introduced as a second variable. The US, where a female CEO still receives 20% less than a male peer, appears progressive beyond belief when compared to Honduran society. In Honduras women typically enter the workforce at age 15, approximately 56% of the country’s women are unemployed as employers favor male candidates, and 26% of young women fall into the unique category known as NiNis. A NiNi is someone who neither Works (Ni trabaja) nor studies (Ni estudia). Conditions of unemployment and under-employment produce dangerous results in the society like gender inequality, income inequality, migration, and poverty to name a few.

OYE’s Second Radio Forum sought to address this issue by promoting up a dialogue and engaging El Progreso’s youth population in a civic activity.

Over 200 people crowded into the upstairs conference space at OYE to participate in OYE’s second Radio Forum on Youth Employment. The event, hosted by OYE’s Radio Ritmo Online Group, invited the participation of local high school students, business representatives, civil society associations, and municipal leaders to engage each other on the topic of youth employment. Yarli Yanez, the Ritmo Online coordinator, served as mistress of ceremony among the panelists Walter Molinari from KM2 Solutions, Maria Luisa Regalado from the Honduran Women’s Collective, and Jose Antonio Zuniga the Regional Chief of the Secretary of Employment.

Panelists Walter Molinari, Maria Luisa Regalado, and Jose Antonio Zuniga
The forum addressed the pressing issues of youth employment, unemployment, and under-employment in a manner that was particularly effective engaging the young audience. The panelists offered distinct points of view, and Yarli was sure to leave the students with concise and concrete understandings of the complicated themes presented.

The forum highlighted some of the causes affecting youth unemployment in the country:

a.     Lack of technical training and opportunity
b.     Lack of education
c.      Political Corruption
d.     Rural to urban migration
And structural issues:
e.     Unequal distribution of land/resources
f.      Uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources
g.     An inefficient governing system that neglects labor rights

Over 180 students formed the audience, coming from four
local high schools.
It is not easy to hold the attention of 200 high school students, but as the panelists analyzed the causes, reality, and outcome of Honduras’ youth labor situation the audience listened with impressive attention. The forum was addressing an issue that the youth audience lives day in and day out.

Coordinated with the Radio Forum, OYE’s Adobe Yoice Voice’s program presented a short feature film, Unemployed, depicting the reality of youth labor in Honduras. Sandra Fiallos, the program’s coordinator, partnered with volunteer Dylan Cassidy to direct and film. They worked with a team of 20+ OYE scholars and volunteers to write the script, design the storyboard, film, and edit. The final product is the first OYE’s first feature film by Adobe Youth Voices. We look forward to many more.

Why be an employee and not an employer? – Asks Walter- Maybe we can think back to the colonization – its conditioning

Walter Molinari – “When we ask ourselves why are we training to be employees and not employers, perhaps we need to think back to the colonization and years of conditioning.”

View the Youth Employment Video!


Jason Norin said...

Good governance can solve youth unemployment. Other than acquiring an income insurance, people should learn to solve unemployment problems as early as electing righteous people.

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OYE Honduras said...

Thanks Jason! We completely agree. Civic involvement and good governance are essential factors. We are hoping to host a debate for the municipality's mayoral candidates before elections in November. Creating a chance for them to share their platforms, especially youth platforms, with local youth.