The Core Life Skills Training equipped young people to think critically, to communicate effectively, and solve problems. These skills allowed young people in the program to make informed decisions, manage stress, and navigate challenges in the workplace or in business. Over the course of 8 years, over 10000 young people completed this training.


In cities across Mali, Nigeria, Somalia and Somaliland, skilled graduates significantly outnumber job opportunities. TNE’s Core Life Skills program was strategically developed—informed by a 2015 research by TNE—to support youth from settings like SOS Children’s Villages to enter the labor market. This initiative aimed to bridge the gap between education and employment, equipping young individuals with essential skills and expanding their professional networks, ultimately enhancing their employability and capacity to seize entrepreneurial opportunities.


The Core Life Skills Training consisted of 11 half-day sessions  which took young people through a journey of self discovery and career exploration. Each session prioritized active group learning so young people could learn from peers and engage with real world professional situations. Sessions were facilitated by trained staff who were equipped with training guides, materials, and templates. All participants were assigned a coach who played an important one-on-one role in helping young people realize their own strengths, preferences and professional goals. In order to encourage more female participants, coaches linked to female participants were female. Participants met in person and online via Whatsapp groups. These online groups proved useful to stimulate alumni activities locally, and engage participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This versatility of the sessions allowed the CLS Training to be embedded within different types of programmes including local universities, vocational training centers, and other youth empowerment projects.

Key Learning Areas

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Personal understanding and exploration

Icon for Professional Inspiration

Professional Inspiration

Icon for Goal Setting

Goal setting

Icon for Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Critical thinking/Problem solving

Icon for Communication Skills

Communication skills

Icon for Enterprise or Employment

Enterprise or employment

Icon for Finding Work

Finding work

Icon for Conflict Management

Conflict management

Icon for Decent Work

Decent work

Icon for Financial Literacy

Financial literacy

Key Innovations

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Digital skills

Image for Gender Equality

Gender Equality

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Online/Offline delivery