SERVE and Young Africa - 15 Years of Partnership
These last few weeks and months have been filled with celebrations within Young Africa and our long-time Irish partners SERVE. While we have recently celebrated our 25 year anniversary in The Netherlands and throughout all our affiliate partner countries, SERVE are celebrating a milestone of 20 years in operation of carrying out Development Projects in Southern Africa, Southeast Asia and Southern America, whilst also providing educational volunteering experiences both in their partner countries and in Ireland.
During this time of festivities, it seems most appropriate to also celebrate our shared milestone of working in partnership for the last 15 years. SERVE have been carrying out development projects mostly in Mozambique and Zimbabwe in partnership with Young Africa since 2008. The first project supported by SERVE was in YA Mozambique where our Irish partners funded the development of the Hostel on our Beira campus and supported running and programme costs for 2 years. Around this time, SERVE also began to support YA Zimbabwe by improving access to computers and IT training for over 500 young people, supplying 23 computers and 2 printers to support the internet cafe, administration centre and computer school and catering equipment for the skills training course.
Since then, SERVE and YA have worked together on over 10 multi-year development projects in all of Young Africa’s affiliate countries, amounting to over €2.5 million. In that time hostels, creches and classroom blocks have been built, staff capacity has been improved and most importantly; tens of thousands of students have been supported and empowered. SERVE is currently carrying out the Skills for Youth Resilience Programme in YA Mozambique and Zimbabwe which is benefitting 5,000 young people. Also this year, YA and SERVE began working together on a new Erasmus+ funded project to digitise TVET by creating an eLearning Platform and a Postgraduate Services Toolbox.
SERVE and YA have not only partnered in Development programmes. In the last 15 years, approximately 180 Irish SERVE volunteers have spent time working in Young Africa Beira and Dondo. After a 3 year break due to COVID restrictions, this July saw the return of the first group of Irish SERVE volunteers to YA Mozambique since 2019. These volunteers work with the YA staff on the ground to share the skills they have with one another. Over the last few years there have also been a number of long-term volunteers stationed at the Young Africa International Hub in Harare, Zimbabwe working in close collaboration with the Young Africa International team.
Congratulations to SERVE on 20 years, we look forward to working with you for many more.