There are millions of vulnerable and marginalized youth in the world that have very little chance to break out of their disadvantaged situations. The Friends team supports youth and parents in very difficult social and economic situations (street families, drugs users, vulnerable migrants and victims of trafficking) to acquire marketable skills and to access employment. To do so, Friends has developed a number of businesses providing hands on vocational skills, including its famous training restaurants. Friends works with a total of 50,000 vulnerable youth in 3 continents.
Through its action, Friends-International provides quality direct services to 50,000 vunerable children and youth per year on 3 continents.
20 local organizations working with the most vulnerable children are supported to develop their impact.
Every year, over one million persons have an increased understanding of child protection messages.
The most marginalized children and youth, as well as their families and their communities benefit from the action of Friends.
Those include : street children, young migrants, children in contact with the law, children victims of exploitation and of trafficking, children working in the worst forms of labour, youth abusing substances etc.
The primary beneficiaries of Friends are children and youth from 0-24 years old. We work with an average 40% girls; many of the groups we are involved with are composed of a majority of boys (youth in detention or street children for instance)
Friends’ work empowers vulnerable youth and families and provides them with skills responding to the local employment markets.
Through building the technical capacity of local organizations and governments Friends ensures that it has a lasting and locally adapted impact.
Finally, Friends builds the sustainability of its social programs by linking them with business initiatives whose profit is used for the funding of social services that cannot be financially self sustained, such as emergency shelters.
Friends has developed a vocational training system that is different from other models in the way that it provides an entire education package (technical skills, literacy, entrepreneurship, health, shelter) without prerequesting any initial level of education, which allows for the most marginalized youth and youth who have never attended an education process to participate.
Friends provides support to other organizations while in the same time it develops local best practice projects. Those local projects, directly managed by Friends, are then used as practical training and resource for partners. Therefore, the training and support provided by Friends to other organizations is highly valued by its partners as the trainers are themselves project implementers that have gone through similar social and business challenges.
Friends has developed or supported other organizations to develop social and business projects in a variety of different cultures and economic backgrounds, using standard simple principles and adapting its methodologies continuously. Those projects have been recognized as best practice by a number of local governments and UN organizations. As such they have influenced and have been used as replicable models by organizations from all continents.
Source of funding
On the short term (2-3 years), Friends intends to be financed about 20% through public organizations (UN, EU, ausaid….), 40% through private donors (foundations, private individuals) and 40% through the income of its social business initiatives.
On the long term (10 years) Friends intends to be financed about 20%
through public organizations, 20% through private donors and 60% through the income of its social business initiatives.