Launching the Skills Hub: A brighter future to thrive (and not just survive!)

Community Quarantine, online classes, webinars, Facebook marketplace– these are the main words that have been trending in the past months. The pandemic has brought us to face many vulnerabilities, especially economic ones. It has put us, in one way or another, into a survive or thrive mode.

How can we equip the youth to take ownership of their lives, with skills to face these challenges? Now, as part of our next steps in the ACAY journey, we are soon launching the ACAY Skills Hub where the beneficiaries can acquire new skills in creativity, technology and entrepreneurship.

The idea for our Skills Hub came about when we saw our soon-to-graduate beneficiaries struggling to find possible job exposure. Requirements during the pandemic had evolved: a higher competency in I.T. technology and entrepreneurial skills. ACAY realized the need to augment its programs to provide the beneficiaries different ways to acquire technical and creative skills. With this, we conceptualized the E-Hub and I-Hub, as part of the exciting and initial launch.

Entrepreneurial Hub (E-Hub)

The E-Hub stands for Entrepreneurial Hub which will help develop the youth’s skills in creating and managing a microbusiness. This includes skills for the youth to strategize, to develop a business plan, to contact customers and to market their business on digital platforms. One of the concrete examples is the “MoM Delices” project where the beneficiaries are part of a team making French and Hungarian sausages and selling them via online marketplace. SOL beneficiary Marie said, “I am happy I learned how to make authentic sausages using the production machine. I developed the skills and growth mindset to be a young entrepreneur.”

Information Technology Hub (IT-Hub)

The IT-Hub or Information Technology Hub, will help develop the I.T. skills of the beneficiaries. By exposing them to more I.T. applications and skill-sharing, they will be able to join the future workforce and eventually lead to wider potential job opportunities in the digital space. It’s the start of many projects to come!

The Skills Hub is just beginning, and will grow more in the coming years. There will soon rise a 2-storey building dedicated for the Skills Hub – to create this environment of nurtured growth and adaptable competencies. On the first floor: a room to welcome the public and to exhibit the youth creations (jewelry, sewing, culinary preparations…). On the second floor: a computer room and a room for training and production workshops. We envision a future where our beneficiaries can – and as much as possible, parents as well – choose the life they want, and be able to cope with whatever challenges the future may bring.

ACAY wants to instill in its beneficiaries that, “If you have the skills and mindset, you can reach your dreams.” Nowadays, we need not only to survive but also to thrive. We live in a fast-changing world, and the change we want to see is in our hands. Let’s continue to support one another’s dreams, be it the beneficiaries’, the parents’ and the working professionals’.

Recently, the Charcellay family climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to help raise funds for the Skills Hub. Christine Charcellay said ” It was a chance to transform it into a solidarity project for an association which does formidable with the youth and which we have supported for a long time.” A big thank you to the Charcellay family, Bouygues and also the Masalina Foundation for helping us raise 77% out of the €80,000 needed for construction of the Skills Hub Building. If you would like to donate to help our ACAY community face an even brighter future through the Skills Hub, contact us today.

We still need to raise €18,400 to reach our goal!