In June 2011, Barclays Company Secretary Lawrence Dickinson joined UNICEF UK Executive Director David Bull on a visit to Zambia to witness the positive impact of Barclays' three-year partnership with UNICEF, the Building Young Future Partnership.

Whilst there, the two saw the impact of the £250,000 the partnership has invested in Zambia, one of the 13 countries supported since 2008

In Zambia, Building Young Futures is working to provide 3,000 young people with vocational and business skills. Launched in 2008 in communities across Zambia, the scheme, locally called "Get Ahead," has proved successful in engaging young people, who often live in deprived communities with high levels of unemployment, by providing business and vocational training to help them take the first step to finding work or setting up their own business.

Whilst visiting one such community that has benefitted from the partnership, there they met several beneficiaries including Madame Ruth, a 35-year-old woman who with the knowledge gained through the "Get Ahead" has been able to set up a successful tailoring business which has enabled her to generate funds to support her extended family.

"The work we have seen in Zambia shows clearly the impact of the Barclays/UNICEF Building Young Futures partnership on the lives of young Zambians," David Bull said. "The young people we have met are testament to the positive impact a partnership with a private sector partner such as Barclays can have on the lives and opportunities of some of the most vulnerable and deprived people. This partnership has given many young people the tools they need to build positive and successful lives, and this will in turn have a positive impact on their often poor communities. We thank Barclays for their continued support."

Since 2008, Building Young Futures has supported nearly 500,000 young people from the world’s poorest communities in Kenya, Egypt, India, Botswana, Zambia, Nigeria, Pakistan, China, Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Russia.

The UK and forms a key part of Barclays community investment programme, which last year invested £55.3m around the world and the time and skills of more than 62,000 colleagues to support disadvantaged communities, reaching more than 1.5 million people.

In May 2011 Building Young Futures was named Overseas Project of the Year at the annual Business Charity Awards.

A Building Young Futures participant learns computing in Mumbai © UNICEF/Barclays
A Building Young Futures participant learns vocational training in Mumbai© UNICEF/Barclays