Purpose Jobs Africa
Curated Story
This article originally appeared on World Policy Institute

When Esther Eshiet graduated from the University of Calabar in Nigeria, she noticed a worrying trend. One of her friends had to take the first administrative job she could find in order to support herself and her family instead of taking the time to explore a career that aligned with what she had studied in school.

Eshiet also noticed that most of her classmates were struggling to find employment because they were not able to identify their own career goals. She was concerned that the education system failed to prepare these young people to choose careers.

“The current approach,” she observed, “is you go to school, you take your classes, you read up, and you write your exams. You’re basically preparing for an exam.”


Ashoka Insight

Social innovators such as Eshiet and Parker are seeking to close the gap in post-education unemployment by providing young people with two aspects of education that are promoted as must-haves, instead of as “nice-to haves:”

  • Guide the Discovery of Personal Purpose
  • Support of Holistic Health Needs

Lynsey Farrell is a Change Leader and currently the Knowledge Lead for Ashoka's Global Venture team that supports the selection of leading social entrepreneurs around the world. While at Ashoka, Lynsey has led numerous knowledge and learning efforts. As program manager of Ashoka’s Future Forward: Innovations in Youth Employment in Africa initiative, she curated and facilitated the Future of Work in Africa course, co-authored an innovation guide called Youth Unstuck: Innovations in Youth Livelihoods and Leadership in Africa, and helped co-lead experiential learning journeys around the continent. Prior to Ashoka, Lynsey directed American University's program on international development in Nairobi, Kenya and completed a PhD in Cultural Anthropology focused on the intersection of international development and youth-self-help movements in Nairobi's largest informal settlement, Kibera.

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