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Senegal: Working together for youth employment


“When I go to interviews, I get harassed and asked indecent things—like they’ll give me work in trade for sex.”

Influencers take to the streets to talk with young people about work

Unemployment among young people in Senegal is a major problem. Many of them are working unpaid internships in informal sectors like agriculture. They often don’t realise that unions are also there to support young workers. Our partner UDTS used social media to show them what unions can do for the youth. CNV Internationaal and UDTS worked together with influencers Ninou and Kaay Job on the #NioFarBoulotJeunes campaign. 

Loosely translated, #NioFarBoulotJeunes means “Together for jobs for youth.” The online campaign combined conversations in the streets with interviews with young people and ended with an Instagram Live. Ninou and Kaay Job spoke with Matou, Adama, Yacine, and Ousmane. 

Matou: “Sex for an internship”

Matou is studying Communications and looking for an internship, something that has turned out to be quite a challenge. “When I go to interviews, I get harassed and asked indecent things—like they’ll give me work in trade for sex.” Matou is happy she’s joined UDTS. “They help me know what my rights are!”

Adama: Active union member

Adama is one of the few young people who has a job in the government. He only got this job after doing 3 internships. He is an active union member and learned a lot when he took part in CNV Internationaal’s leadership programme. “People used to think unions were only for making demands. But they’re also important when it comes to issues like employability, employment opportunities, and education. Unions help with all these things!”

Yacine: Unions help people who work in agriculture

Yacine was fortunate to find an internship in the agri-food sector, thanks to her network. But many aren’t so lucky. “Lots of people end up having to do informal work, like farming. We should be helping farm workers more—they do really hard work without earning very much money. Unions can help them.”

Ousmane: Entrepreneur who wants to employ youth

Ousmane is the CEO of CEDDA Environmental Advice Agency. Unlike most companies, he wants to hire young people and always tries to hire interns. “The first year is especially difficult for youth. We help and guide students and also offer a 6-month internship.” 

Publication date 12 09 2023