Barbering skills training

Funding required: $36,200

Beneficiaries: 50 students from 5 Compassion centres

Completion date: March 2023

Country: Nicaragua

Executive summary

In Nicaragua, youth unemployment is a serious problem. Four out of 10 Nicaraguan youth are unemployed, and while more than a third of the workforce is between the ages of 14 and 24, many jobs are informal and don’t guarantee a stable income. The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to deepen this crisis. Without assistance, many of Compassion’s youth-age beneficiaries in Nicaragua face a bleak road ahead.

Compassion has been working in Nicaragua for more than 19 years, advocating for children and youth and offering opportunities for growth and development. Out of close to 70,000 registered beneficiaries nearly a third of these (around 25,000) are older than age 12. As they move closer to adulthood, helping youth gain the skills to earn income is a key initiative for Compassion Nicaragua and its frontline church partners. We have set the goal of offering students across the country at least one vocational skills course before they graduate from the sponsorship program. With the generous support of donors, many of our church partners in Nicaragua have successfully carried out vocational workshops for students that have included computer skills, bakery, farming, carpentry, sewing and more.

Now, five more of our partners in Nicaragua want to offer life-changing skills training to their youth-age beneficiaries. These churches are located in the west of the country, in rural communities near the cities of León and Chinandega. Like most rural areas, vocational training opportunities here are either limited or nonexistent. The churches in these five communities want to offer 50 of their beneficiaries aged 12 and up the chance to attend a barbering workshop. Students will learn barbering skills and also receive valuable entrepreneurship training, so they can start their own small businesses in the future.

Did you know?

In rural parts of Nicaragua, only around three out of 10 students enrol in secondary school, compared to six out of 10 in urban areas.



To address the rising problem of youth unemployment, Compassion Nicaragua has been working closely with frontline church partners across the country to implement vocational training initiatives for youth-age beneficiaries. The need is imminent; around 40 per cent of youth in Nicaragua are unemployed, while many of those who do have jobs are only employed informally. With limited educational opportunities, youth growing up in rural areas are particularly vulnerable to unemployment or underemployment. Most will not even complete a high school education. To address this growing challenge, five of Compassion’s church partners in rural areas near the cities of León and Chinandega want to offer a barbering workshop and entrepreneurial training for 50 students aged 12 and up. By offering students the chance to learn an income-generating skill as well as the knowledge they will need to run their own businesses, our partners want to offer them hope for a much brighter future.

The need

Youth unemployment in Nicaragua is a long-standing crisis that has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Four out of 10 youth in Nicaragua are unemployed. Many students in rural areas don’t even attend high school and lack opportunities to learn skills that could help them get decent jobs. In partnership with local churches, Compassion Nicaragua seeks to address this crisis by providing each student with at least one vocational skills course before they graduate from the sponsorship program.

You can help 50 students ages 12 to 16 from five Compassion centres in rural Nicaragua attend a barbering workshop. Students will attend classes at a professional barbering school for 6 months, followed by one month of entrepreneurship training, where they will learn how to create a business plan, set and keep a budget and market their businesses effectively. To complete the initiative, churches will organize a special service day where students will offer free haircuts and showcase their work to parents and centre staff.

What your gift will do

Your support will provide:

  • Barbering classes for 50 beneficiaries
    • Registration fees
    • Monthly payments for 6 months
  • Entrepreneurship training for 1 month
    • Materials
    • Teacher fees
  • Material for classes
    • Hair clipper
    • Professional hair cutting kit (cutting shears, combs, razor blade, razors, atomizer, towels, powder, barber cape, shaving brush, barber cologne, hair gel, alcohol)
  • Transportation for students to and from the barbering school
  • Graduation ceremony
    • Snacks and materials
    • Certificates
  • Monitoring and evaluation
    • Food and transportation


  • Local contribution: $1,988.07; the church will also provide their facilities and sound system for the graduation ceremony.
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Nicaragua will ensure that this intervention remains within budget.
  • Follow-up: The church will report regularly with updates on this initiative. A collaborator will be hired to follow up with the students. He or she will carry out surveys and conduct focus groups to evaluate the impact of the training on the students.

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.