Masonry Training | © Scholar Institute

Better skills and business opportunities for Rakhine Youths and MSMEs

© Scholar Institute

The project promotes economic resilience and social cohesion of youth, disadvantaged people, and micro, small and medium enterprises in Rakhine through support for vocational education and buisiness development.

  • Project Name
    Skills for Reconstructing Rakhine (S4RR)
  • Project Phase
    2021 to 2023
  • Funding
    Livelihood and Food Security Trust Fund of UNOPS
  • Budget
    CHF 1,199,660
  • Thematic focus
    Skills, Jobs and Income

Scholar Institute (SI), the lead agency of the project, and Helvetas joined forces to support economic resilience and social cohesion in Rakhine through employment promotion, strengthened MSMEs and improved social protection of disadvantaged groups. The Skills for Reconstruction of Rakhine (S4RR) project was designed based on a deep understanding of the local context and the needs of the target group from both displaced people and host communities in Rakhine.  S4RR capitalizes on SI’s strong network on the ground combined with Helvetas’ technical knowledge in the field of skills development, private sector development and gender and conflict sensitivity. It will rely on experience and lessons learned from projects implemented in Rakhine by SI and Helvetas skills development projects in Myanmar and in similar contexts in other parts of the world. SI and Helvetas will contribute to LIFT’s strategic goals of improving income and employment opportunities and reducing vulnerability of households and individuals to shocks, stresses and risks.

S4RR will work in three Townships (Sittwe, Ponnagyun, and Mrauk U) to improve livelihoods of displaced people, youth (younger women and men aged 18 to 35 years) and women aged above 35 in both Rakhine and Muslim communities. S4RR will apply a number of innovative approaches, such as a youth led Opportunity Group Approach (OGA) for training, digital learning, Micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME) engagement in training provision or establishing informal labor associations. The project will include components contributing to social cohesion, such as fostering dialogue and exchange across different ethnic and religious groups in the OGA and the creation of a trade platform encouraging intercommunal exchange of products and services. A range of proven tools will be used to mainstream conflict and gender sensitivity throughout all activities (e.g. Pluralism Toolbox, Conflict Sensitive Program Management (CSPM), psycho-social support, conflict sensitive labor market assessments).

The proposed interventions cover three main topics: 1) skills development and employment promotion of disadvantaged youth and women, 2) strengthening MSMEs through business development services and 3) capacity development of labor associations and creation of a responsible business network. These components are closely interconnected and mutually reinforce each other. MSME’s will have access to a skilled workforce, which increases their productivity. This increased productivity, along with uptake of responsible business practices, will create more decent employment opportunities.

Through the S4RR’s focus on disadvantaged groups, such as displaced people and returning migrants and women and men will have an opportunity to improve their livelihoods and generate an income and to step out and actively participate in social life. Due to the volatility and fragility of the context in Rakhine, this process will be accompanied by constant context monitoring, Do No Harm analyses and conflict sensitive project management (CSPM).

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