Teaching vital lessons about the world of work
Deutsche Post DHL Group’s (DPDHL) GoTeach program – which improves the employability of young people – is 10 years old and active in 50 countries. It began life as a small initiative in Madagascar, started by Faneva Raharimanantsoa.
The people of Madagascar are young – more than half the population is under 25. The problem is that schooling is not free and the country is poor. The average salary is around €100 per month, so money is often spent on food, not education. As a result, only around 35% of children go to primary school, and the numbers fall even further when it comes to high school and university. That lack of educational opportunity has caused high unemployment rates.
I’ve always been a passionate believer that education is key to success and a way out of poverty. If we share our knowledge, everyone wins. In 2009, I was working as a coordinator of fundraising, communication and sponsorship for SOS Children’s Villages, a global child care organization that gives vulnerable children who have lost their parents a home and a family with a dedicated carer. We had the idea of setting up a mentoring program for these young people, so I approached DHL Madagascar and asked for their support. They were happy to help and, shortly afterward, both organizations announced a formal partnership.
Their first activity was inviting 15 young people from SOS Children’s Villages to DHL’s offices for two hours a week to learn a range of skills and so improve their employability. Their teachers were all volunteers from DHL, and every single colleague wanted to get involved.
This was the start of GoTeach – a partnership between DHL, SOS Children’s Villages and educational network Teach For All. It developed into a program designed to help young people between the ages of 15 and 25 transition into the world of work with internships, facility visits and training. DPDHL has since rolled out GoTeach to almost 50 countries, and it’s great to see the difference it’s made. For instance, one of the participants of that very first mentoring activity in Madagascar was recruited by DHL and is now technical materials manager of a DHL warehousing project. Another beneficiary of GoTeach is currently Communications Officer at a big communications agency.
I left SOS Children’s Villages in 2016, but I didn’t leave the program behind. In fact, since 2017, I’ve been working at DHL as a regional program manager for GoTeach. I’m so proud that, thanks to some amazing teamwork, a small initiative has grown into a big international success story. ― As told to Tony Greenway
Published: April 2020