The key to finding work is learning whatever skills are needed in the society you were born into.  In other words getting a good education.  If you are lucky you may have a family that will help, and support you.  For the poor this is unlikely to be the case.

What is your educational background?

I made it through high school, grades 10-12, secondary school in other countries, I am sorry to say without much interest in classes.  I did go to college, at night when I starting working at a bank, and also earned a technical degree, Certified Auditor.

I never enjoyed school.  I have always loved learning about the world, but not the class room environment.

Two articles in the Christian Science Monitor are about people, and organizations, trying to bring education to the poor.

1) “People Making A Differences” by Amy Barcken

Miragoane, Haiti – Garry Delice searches out promising students in Haiti’s high schools as part of a program that provides tuition, housing, and expenses for exceptional pupils

Delice is on a treasure hunt, driving to Haiti’s remotest corners in search of brilliant young minds. He is national director of a scholarship program designed to help some of the country’s smartest and most impoverished students join the less than 1 percent of Haitians who have earned a college diploma.

The Haitian Education and Leadership Program (HELP) covers tuition, housing, and living expenses for exceptional students in pursuit of that degree. To find these kids, every spring HELP delegates distribute application forms at more than 100 schools across Haiti.

Delice himself attended a public high school in the southern Haitian town of Jacmel, where he lived in a classic gingerbread-style house with his mother, grandfather, and younger sister. His grandfather supported the family selling coffee and cotton to exporters. His mother found occasional work as a tailor.

“My mother always said that she would have had a better life if she had been able to complete her education,” Delice says. Neither his father, a bus driver in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, nor his mother made it past elementary school. “She always pushed me to read good books, and she was severe in monitoring my performance in school,” he says.

2) “African academy empowers youths” by Matthew Clark

Kagadi, Uganda – Drumbeats pulse through the soft afternoon breeze. Teenage girls sing in unison, ululate, then sing again, cheering on their fellow student-athletes as they play long games of volleyball and netball. Baboons pluck at people’s pant cuffs before scampering off to the next bit of mischief.

It’s a field day here at the campus of the Uganda Rural Development and Training Programme (URDT), where girls learn how to take hold of their own future, teach their parents key skills, and make “Yes, We Can” more than just a campaign slogan in a faraway land.

These girls might not know it, but their small school is being watched as a potential model for transforming poor, war-torn African nations.

With a median age of 15, Uganda has the world’s youngest population, according to a 2008 World Bank report. It also has the highest youth (ages 15 to 24) unemployment rate: 83 percent. It’s common to find 20-somethings with law and business degrees stocking supermarket shelves. To break the cycle of poverty and war in places like Uganda, some development specialists now say that people don’t need fancy degrees; they need to gain practical skills to create their own income – in the countryside – so they won’t flood urban slums or join militias. The answer, they say, also lies in helping people learn how to maximize the assets they already have, and in changing the culture from “hands-out” to “can-do.”