Dreaming big on a small island — Global Issues

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are often blessed with good weather, sandy beaches and lush countryside, and attract tourists, especially from the United States and Europe, looking to escape the gloomy winter months.

But growing up in these countries can be difficult. Opportunities are few and youth unemployment is high, with recent studies showing more than half of young people are unemployed in some countries.

Robert Tonge, digital economy coordinator for the Dominican government, said life in the country has become tough in recent years.

“rear COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection), many people lost their jobs and had no way to support their families,” he said. “The pandemic occurred just a few years ago in the wake of Hurricane Maria, during which a large portion of the population lost their livelihood; COVID-19 (new coronavirus infection) It lasted longer, especially from a business perspective. Many businesses closed and many Dominicans decided to leave the country. ”

United Nations News/Brianna Rowe

Josiah Johnson is a beneficiary of Work Online Dominica, a government program supported by the United Nations.

SIDS leaders discuss how emerging technologies, if used effectively, can help young people cross borders, find jobs online and earn more money without physically leaving home. I am aware that it may become.

In Dominica, the government is working with the United Nations and other partners to develop Work Online Dominica, aimed at job seekers between the ages of 18 and 40. Over her 12 weeks, the trainer teaches students business management and how to express themselves in a competitive way online. Online markets are better.

“Many young people have a lot of skills, but they don’t know how to utilize it and, more importantly, how to sell it abroad,” Tonge explained. . “This program will help people leverage and improve the skills they already have to serve not only Dominica, but throughout the Caribbean and around the world.”

Johnson, who grew up in a very poor and marginalized area of ​​Dominica, participated in the program and said: united nations news He said it made a huge difference to his career prospects, while also bringing him closer to his family and friends.

“The Work Online program was very informative and I learned a lot,” he said. “The trainers explained how to find a job online, how to make your application as strong as possible and compete with all the other applicants. They gave us lots of useful tips, for example: Apply as soon as a job is posted and get to the front of the line, even if you have to wake up in the middle of the night. And instead of applying to one job and waiting, apply to multiple jobs at once. I was told that I should.”

The program has opened up countless opportunities ranging from virtual assistance services to translation, data entry, and call center work in countries including the United States, Australia, and Canada. Immediately after graduating, Mr. Johnson found work online, working in customer service for a company in Canada, while continuing to pursue his dream of working as a professional photographer.

“Photography has been my passion since I was young,” he said. “I have always been fascinated by the idea of ​​capturing a moment in time. Even when I was in high school, I always carried my cell phone and camera with me to take pictures of people around me. I have been inspired by my photographer friends and celebrities who work for international magazines that combine art and photography, especially Vogue.”

Eventually, Mr. Johnson became employed as a photographer thanks to his training both in Dominica and other Caribbean countries. During that time, he met many people, built a good network and found many opportunities.

Mr Tonge said graduates of the program are equipped with far greater skills.

“They are also much more independent and forward-thinking,” he said. “Many of the participants are now earning much more and are really satisfied with their participation. Some were able to employ people.”

Johnson agrees that many people who have trained with him have benefited from the realization that they don’t have to leave Dominica to further their careers.

“We hardly see each other anymore because they are indoors and working online. But now they can do many things like go on vacation and save their pocket money without struggling to pay their bills. We can now do many things that Dominicans cannot do.”

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