USAID congratulates the third cohort of the Out-of-School Youth Program (PAJE-Nieta)

On August 6, Ambassador Paul Folmsbee and the Malian Minister of Employment, Vocational Training, Youth and Civic Education, Mahamane Baby, celebrated the end-of training cycle of the third cohort of the USAID-funded Out-of-School Youth project also known as PAJE-Nièta (Projet d’Appui aux Jeunes Entrepreneurs). With the support of 309 Malian volunteers who served with the program , 6,701 youth in the regions of Kayes, Koulikoro, Sikasso, and Timbuktu completed basic education, vocational, entrepreneurial skills training, and received kits to start their micro-enterprises to improve their communities and their livelihood.

Urging for more support to youth education, Ambassador Folmsbee quoted President Obama “…ultimately, the most powerful antidote to the old ways of doing things is this new generation of African youth. History shows that the nations that do best are the ones that invest in the education of their people.” PAJE-Nièta ensures that youth play a role in Malians securing a democratic, resilient and prosperous future.

PAJE -Nièta is a five year, CFA 15 billion ($30 million) initiative launched in 2010. Working in partnership with both the ministries of Agriculture and Employment, Vocational Training and Youth Education as well as the private sector and civil society partners, focusing on youth organizations. PAJE-Nieta aims to provide 10,000 rural, out-of-school youth with improved basic education, work readiness and technical training to develop social and leadership skills to support livelihood activities. The project developed modules to train youth on promoting a culture of peace, conflict resolution and citizenship. It aims to make Malian youth more educated, economically productive, civically engaged and empowered to build economically productive and civically active lives for themselves, their families, and their communities.