Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation entered into a MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] with Lighthouse Communities Foundation for setting up of World Of Work (WoW) centres in the city under the aegis of the Global Opportunity Youth Network [GOYN]. GOYN is a global collaborative led by Aspen Institute, USA. The GOYN-Pune program has been anchored by the reputed non-profit Lighthouse Communities Foundation since November 2019 and is now being extended to the city of Pimpri-Chinchwad.
The MoU for setting up WoW centres in Pimpri-Chinchwad over the next five years, was executed on 30th June 2023, at Pimpri in the presence of Hon Commissioner, Mr. Shekhar Singh.
The WoW program is designed to enable livelihood opportunities for youth between the age of 18-35 years living in urban slum/low-income communities. Any youth from low-income communities looking for a job or self-employment can access relevant information as well as mentors through physical centres, helplines or a digital platform. The program helps young people understand career options, discover their potential, set goals and secure jobs. Career counsellors are available on call, and comprehensive information is provided with respect to options in the city for vocational skilling and jobs. The program also supports youth in completing their high school education, setting up micro businesses, or accessing allied support services.
In the 2 years that the WoW program has been operational in Pune, it has positively impacted 25000 youth. Some have opted for career counselling whilst others have re-entered formal education and still others have secured jobs. WoW centres will operate as a collective action program, working with multiple partner organisations across the city including skilling organisations, employers, recruitment agencies, community based organisations, philanthropic/CSR foundations, colleges, NGOs, corporators and community leaders, corporates and more.
Honourable Commissioner Mr. Shekhar Singh said that the exciting aspect of starting the WoW program in PCMC was that with both, the Lighthouse and WoW program working in parallel, one could aspire for a city ‘saturation’ model with the aim of “No Youth Left Behind”. It would be truly fulfilling to provide access to every youth from low-income communities in PCMC to a pathway towards livelihood and full potential.
Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman of Lighthouse Communities Foundation said ‘We are delighted to be partnering with PCMC for the World of Work (WoW) program. In our work of the last 7 years through the Lighthouse program, we have understood that young people benefit greatly when they get in touch with a strong positive influence. We hope that the WoW centres, together with the PCMC Lighthouses, will provide a pathway to every single youth from low-income communities in Pimpri-Chinchwad, looking for a livelihood’.
Hon Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ajay Charthankar talked about how the World of Work centres will guide youth who are aged 15 years and above , give information about skilling and livelihood options and link them to different pathways. He mentioned about this being a unique and high reach program for youth from slums and low income households.