Enhancing Employability And Leadership For Youth (EELY)

Duration: 2011-2017

Location: Pakistan

Reach: 252,000 people (114,200 women and 137,800 men)

Budget: $19 million (Global Affairs Canada: $16 million; AKFC: $3 million)


The Enhancing Employability and Leadership for Youth program increased engagement of young women and men in the remote, high mountain regions of northern Pakistan as productive, full members of their communities and active contributors to economic and social development.

The employability component of the program improved training and enterprise support services to prepare youth for the labour market. It also prepared the labour market for youth through changes that expanded employment and self-employment opportunities, such as incentives for developing youth-centred enterprises.

The leadership component worked to strengthen youth community engagement by supporting aspiring youth leaders with skills development and training. It also helped community and government institutions integrate youth perspectives into policymaking and design youth-friendly programs and services.

The program’s focus on gender equality led to significant gains in women’s income, women-owned businesses, and women’s participation in civil society and the labour market – notably including male-dominated trades such as carpentry, electrical repair, and mountaineering.

The project directly benefitted 77,680 youth; and indirectly reached approximately 174,355 youth.

Learn more:

  • Meet some of the inspiring young women and men who are crafting new opportunities for themselves and their communities here.
  • Watch our four-part video series, Empowering Youth, for perspectives from the young women and men who participated in the program.
  • Read about the approaches used to promote women’s economic empowerment in northern Pakistan in this collection of case studies from a 2016 workshop convened by AKFC and Canadian development partners. (English only)


Evaluations and project reports: