Education, Entrepreneurship or Employment

Case Study - Workforce Development

Led by Partners of the Americas, A Ganar (Vencer in Brazil) is a youth workforce development programme wrapped up in a soccer ball. The programme utilises soccer and other team sports to help youth in Latin America and the Caribbean, ages 16-24, find jobs, learn entrepreneurial skills, or re-enter the formal education system. With an innovated series of field and classroom sport-based activities, A Ganar helps both boys and girls transfer lessons from sport, including teamwork, communication and leadership, into market-driven skills and attitudes. The youth are connected with mentors, and are provided market-driven vocational training, internships and opportunities for community service. Eventually, youth emerge with the practical skills necessary to return to the classroom or launch a career.

Since 2005, Partners has implemented A Ganar with funding from major donors including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Inter-American Development Bank and has reached over 14,000 participants. 


  • The core of the A Ganar programme is not a focus on sports training, but rather, the application of sport lessons to personal skill development essential to employment training.
  • To win on the sports field, one needs to understand, practice, and promote the core values of respect, teamwork, discipline, communication, focus on results, and continued self-improvement.
  • These six skills form the foundation of the A Ganar methodology, not just as “life skills”, but as “employability skills” that are learned on the field and in the classroom.   
  • This sport- based training is the first step towards employment, followed by targeted vocational training and internship placement, with continuous support through mentorship opportunities.

Depending upon the skills, needs, and interests of each individual, the pathway towards economic empowerment can go in a variety of directions that are external to the organisation. Girls are in a position to “choose their own adventure,” and think deeply about what they want for their future and how they can get there. The focus for organisations at this point is on facilitating a process that will allow girls to gain the necessary education credentials, secure a job placement, or get the support needed to start a business. Organisations do not need provide these things if that is not a core competency but rather, should create strong partnership with local businesses, non-profits, community based organisations, formal and informal educational institutions, and other stakeholders to facilitate this part of the pathway for girls in their organisation. For more information on developing partnerships, see the Partnerships Section of this guideline.

For some girls, securing a part-time job in the organisation provides the opportunity to seek higher education to acquire skills required for a specific profession, to start a business, or to find full time employment in a private, public or community organisation. Formal tertiary education can become a critical juncture for AGYW; a pathway for some and a barrier for others.  Each organisation should determine their approach to formal education and external credentials.  Some programme partners find ways to support AGYW in their pursuit of tertiary education while still identifying developmental opportunities to build job skills. 

Partners acknowledge this is the time when an adolescent girl or young woman will leave their sport programme to gain the market skills that may enable them to someday return to the organisation in a more professional capacity.

The Naz Foundation

The Naz Foundation has been implementing The Goal Programme, an award-winning sport, life skills, and financial literacy programme, since 2007. One of major outcomes for girls in the programme is access to internship or job placement opportunities once they graduate and gain the necessary skills they need to thrive in a workplace. See how the Naz Foundation helps make this happen below.