Closing the gender gap in youth employability

POSTED February 18, 2021

Closing the gender gap in youth employability


Enmanuel Castro
communications manager;

  • EMPUJE is designed to improve the life skills, well-being and job prospects of 12,000 Nicaraguans
  • The projects aims to close the gender gap in youth employability, by creating job opportunities in a more equitable, sustainable and inclusive manner.
  • The Government of Canada is contributing CAD$6.7 million to the five-year project

Closing the gender gap in youth employability

EMPUJE helps 12,000 Nicaraguans get ready for work

wendy nicaragua

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Canadian-based child development organization Children Believe today launched EMPUJE, a project to improve the life skills, well-being and job prospects of 12,000 Nicaragua adolescents and young people aged 15 to 30, 7,200 of whom are women.

Funded by the Government of Canada and Children Believe, EMPUJE is supporting youth in nine Nicaraguan provinces, namely Managua, Masaya, Granada, Rivas, León, Chinandega, Estelí, Boaco and Matagalpa.

EMPUJE aims to increase employability among young people by providing them with technical knowledge and skills relevant to today’s work environment, as well as to encourage entrepreneurship.

Children Believe Nicaragua country director, María Isabel López, explained that the project will contribute to closing the gender gap in youth employability by opening up job opportunities in a more equitable, sustainable and inclusive manner for both women and men, encouraging youth to achieve their career aspirations.

Government of Canada helps young people reach their potential

The Government of Canada is supporting this initiative with a contribution of CAD$6.7 million over five years. “Despite all of the challenges in the global and domestic context, we are encouraged to see the hard efforts of young people in Nicaragua to achieve their maximum potential. This project will bring value to the youth of Nicaragua, especially young women,” said James K. Hill, the Canadian Ambassador to Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua.  

Closing the gender gap among young job seekers

EMPUJE is being implemented by Children Believe together with the Instituto Nacional Tecnológico (National Technological Institute – INATEC), Heifer International Project and Centro Empresarial Pellas (CEP).

“Through EMPUJE, we are applying Children Believe’s youth employability model, which emphasizes a gender approach. Young people will have access to a digital platform, in which the private sector plays a key role as generator of employment opportunities, networking and business opportunities for entrepreneurship,” López said.

Wendy Ruiz, a 26-year-old mother, who is participating in the EMPUJE project, said she wanted to be involved in the project because, “It will help me to position myself better economically and have an improved family life.”

David Lopez, a 17-year-old participant, said, “The project will help me acquire experience which will come in handy when it’s time for me to go find a job or to start my own business.”

Learn more about the EMPUJE project

Adolescents and young people wishing to participate in EMPUJE should follow the information on Children Believe Nicaragua’s Facebook and Instagram pages, INATEC, Heifer International Project and Centro Empresarial Pellas.

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.


The $7.3-million EMPUJE (Youth Employability: Closing the Gender Gap in Youth Employment in Nicaragua) initiative is a five-year project designed to improve the well-being of 12,000 youth (60 percent women) in nine provinces of Nicaragua. Children Believe is leading the project in partnership with local partners and INATEC with funding from Global Affairs Canada. The project aims to boost life skills and soft skills among youth, so they can identify, gain and retain employment; gain awareness of gender equality in accessing and identifying non-exploitative job opportunities; improve opportunities in engaging youth, especially women, in dialogue and consultations with potential employers and/or employment services; and improve access to skill-training.

About ChildFund Alliance:

A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.