TVET turns life around for former gang member

Muzaffargargh: September 2014. A rebellious child with little hope for his future, Akram drifted into a gang. Today he is a successful entrepreneur thanks to a TVET course

Muhammad Akram’s family have been peasants in Muzaffargarh for generations. A restless young boy, he rebelled against “the feudal system that made the life of a peasant such a misery”. After leaving school early, he hung out with a gang known to engage in criminal activities. By the time 25-year old Akram came across PLAN, he was at risk of losing even those few freedoms his father still had. Instead, today he is a successful entrepreneur.

Akram had always wanted a life that offered some freedom, and after talking to the Plan’s social mobilization team he realized he could try something completely different: He could become an entrepreneur living in security, and a respected member of the community. Inspired, he joined a youth group. He enrolled for a course learning to repair mobile phones.

To help him get started, a friend loaned him PKR 10, 000 (about US$ 100) when he completed his course. It was enough, for custom grew quickly for Akram who has finally found a niche in which he is happy to work hard and wants to excel. Today, just months after he started his business he earns 15,000 rupees (about US$ 150) per month. Reflecting back on that chance meeting with the YEEP team and all that has happened.

Fact Box

Plan International

Provision of access to market-driven training and employment opportunities to vulnerable youth and women in rural districts of southern Punjab, Youth Economic Empowerment project (YEEP)

Contributions and Aim:
The Youth Economic Empowerment Programme (YEEP) is a EUR 2.4 million project being funded by the European Union (90%) and Plan International (10%). The 3.5 year project is being implemented by Plan International and NRSP. It aims to help a total of 3694 young men and women aged 15-29 to find meaningful, well-paid employment and self-employment by improving access to effective, market-driven Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) opportunities.

“Training gave me the skills I needed to provide this service, but the Enterprise Development Training and Life Skills modules were equally important to prepare me for setting up my own business. It is the combination of skills I acquired that has turned my life around”, said Akram

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