EL SALVADOR: FUSALMO launches new course that teaches skills and English language for call center employment
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian-run, FUSALMO, is offering an opportunity for youth to attend a new training course for call center employment. Held at the Don Bosco Youth Integral Program sports complex, operated by FUSALMO, in the municipality of Soyapango, El Salvador, the six-month course focuses on English language skills and offers specific workshops targeted to call centers. At the conclusion of the course, support is offered in finding employment in the call center sector.
According to statistics from the Foundation for Higher Education, the unemployment rate among young people aged 15-29 in El Salvador is 11.8 percent which is much higher than the national unemployment rate of 7 percent. Programs at FUSALMO are targeted to help youth, often at risk of gang violence, to find and retain employment.
“The young people who currently attend this new course are already in the process of connecting with call center human resources departments with which we collaborate. They come to visit our facilities and carry out interviews and English language knowledge assessment with the kids. More than 80 percent of the participants are already eligible for work,” explained Jazmin Cuellar, coordinator of the project.
FUSALMO offers traditional and non-traditional educational opportunities for at-risk youth. Through recreational programs, enrichment opportunities in the arts and music, vocational training and more, youth are encouraged to stay off the streets, learn to cooperate and co-exist and gain the skills they need to become productive, contributing members of a more peaceful society. Founded in 2001, the organization has positively impacted the lives of more than 265,000 children and their families.
“I learned things I didn’t know before,” says Denis Campos, a 19-year-old student attending the call center course. “I improved my English and I have the chance to get my first job, thanks to the alliances that FUSALMO has with call centers. I am very grateful to FUSALMO for giving me the opportunity to participate in this course. They are in solidarity with young people. It doesn’t matter if they have much or little money, they give us the opportunity.”
Katherine Hernández, an 18-year-old student, adds, “When I started the course, I didn’t have many expectations. I just came to pass the time. But then I realized that I liked English. There are good opportunities that FUSALMO offers because they do not waste time and because elsewhere to learn English you have to pay a lot, but here, regardless of the economic resources you have, you can come to learn.”
El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in Central America, along with Honduras and Guatemala. The murder rate in El Salvador rose more than 44 percent in the beginning months of 2014 when compared to the same time period the year before. In 2016, San Salvador was named the murder capital of the world, seeing more murders and violent crime than any other city. Gang violence is a leading cause of violence in the country, and it’s estimated that some 60,000 young people have gang affiliation. Gang involvement often offers a sense of belonging and family that counters the lack of education and employment opportunities offered in the country.
Crime is often associated with poverty and close to 35 percent of El Salvador’s population lives in poverty, according to the World Bank. Youth in El Salvador are confronted not only with poverty, but with instability, high levels of violence and inadequate access to educational opportunities. Despite ranking high for economic indicators, the need for practical education in El Salvador is more important than ever with 12 percent of youth ages 15-24 unemployed and 41 percent underemployed.
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World Bank – El Salvador