INTRODUCTION: The problem of unemployment is particularly high among the youth of Zambia.
TRACKING SHOTS Unemployed in streets. (2 SHOTS)
GV & PAN Outside Makeni Ecumenical Centre.
CU Makeni centre sign.
GV Men and women working in vegetable patch. (4 SHOTS) (MUTE)
GVs Woodworking centre with students learning carpentry. (5 SHOTS)
GV & SV People inspecting finished products for purchase. (2 SHOTS)
SVs INTERIOR Women learning dressmaking. (3 SHOTS)
SV Male and female National Service trainees cutting and marking material. (3 SHOTS)
SV Women using sewing machine.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The problem of unemployment is particularly high among the youth of Zambia. Many are school leavers facing limited job prospects others are unskilled and not able to find work because of a lack of training. But because of the efforts of a number of private organisations there is now hope for those willing to learn new skills.
SYNOPSIS: Ten years ago a Dutch priest, Father Pierre Dil, decided to do something for the thousands being exploited by illegal labour exchanges. Many spent days waiting in hunger for low-paid jobs.
The Makeni Ecumenical Centre near the Zambian capital of Lusaka was the result of approaches to several government-sponsored aid agencies. Now the centre boasts over one hundred graduates.
The first group to train specialised in agriculture. A bonus for the centre comes in the sale of produce from the vegetable patch which helps pay the wages of the staff of 28. The students also receive a small allowance during training with a higher rate for married men.
At the Chilenje trade school, there's a self-help scheme where young men are trained in carpentry. Father Dil set up the centre to concentrate on employment-orientated teaching. He hopes to expand this role by co-operation with outside contractors in order to establish more teaching units. Plans include courses in candle-making, roof tile manufacturing and stock feed production.
The quality of the work produced at Makeni is high and is made available to the public at bargain prices.
The trade school also provides a course in dressmaking. Here, women learn alongside men the skills of tailoring. After the training they are in a position to look for work in factories or become self-employed dressmakers. These are young people of the Zambia National Service. The uniforms they make are supplied cheaply to National Service camps throughout the country providing yet another service to the community.