Extreme poverty remains a huge challenge at international level and one that traditional education often struggles to solve. Another pressing challenge in the context of global education is solving the youth unemployment crisis, with 75 million people aged 16 to 24 currently unemployed. Therefore, it is more important than ever that they leave school not just with good grades, but armed with skills, knowledge, attitudes and values that will help them succeed.
Venuste believes that education is the key to tackling youth unemployment and poverty worldwide. Through his organization (International Transformation Foundation) Venuste has established various educational projects that are both educational and profitable – teaching students business and entrepreneurial skills, and generating much-needed income for schools. He believes in providing a relevant education - that bridges the gap between school and work – meaning students leave school ready to get a good job or set up their own business, and reach their full potential in life.
Venuste’s educational mission is to enable schools to provide a relevant education, through school based enterprises, that empower young people to succeed in work and in life. There are three core principles that guide his philosophy in education for sustainable development in line with his work concept of helping others to help themselves:
In his approach to sustainable education and providing a common foundation for community development, Venuste uses the following principles that transcend differences in geography, culture, religion and politics;
Universal primary education will never be sufficient on its own to give young people from developing countries a real chance to escape poverty. It also requires post-primary education focused on practical and business skills to match genuine opportunities within their communities. Unfortunately, governments struggle to provide the resources for such education. If governments can't meet this need, non-state actors will also have to rise to the challenge. But the old model of charity-funded short-term education projects is also not sufficient to create lasting capacity - what's needed is models that allow schools to meet the need for relevant education in their community indefinitely. That is why the international education community is looking now for such approaches and models which are sustainable, but also replicable and scalable.
Venuste’s education for sustainable development program pioneered through International Transformation Foundation meets all these criteria and is currently being successfully replicated in schools and communities around East Africa. His program involves school based enterprises which is a business that is owned by a school but is led and staffed by its students. The innovative school business approach provides a high-quality, low-cost business and skills-based education that is reinforced by hands-on experience. At the same time school enterprises build schools’ ability to generate a sustainable income and plan for their future.
Venuste’s Vision is a world free from poverty where all young people are able to reach their full potential in life.