Through empowerment programs that build leadership, teamwork and confidence, you're not only making a brighter future possible, but you're also creating a positive ripple effect on kids' communities.
Imagine how hard it would be to motivate yourself to make a change if you were faced with seemingly impossible circumstances. In many of the communities where our sponsored children live, it’s easy to see why kids might succumb to hopelessness, feeling like their choices can’t make a difference.
To become set on a course out of poverty, kids first have to believe that escaping it is possible and that they have power over their future. With your help, we’re overcoming disillusionment to help kids become empowered citizens with practical life skills — skills that are put into action to tackle poverty for themselves and their communities.
How (specifically) does your support help kids?
Kids enrolled in our sponsorship program have access to the just-right mix of resources, based on location, age and life circumstances. What is sponsorship? Find out more.
Here are some of the ways we work to empower kids:
- Using art, music, sports, community service and peer education, we focus on developing important life skills, like problem-solving, decision-making, creative and critical thinking, communication and interpersonal skills, coping with emotions and stress, conflict resolution, appreciating diversity. The result: positive efforts that ripple out and impact others' lives.
- We help build leadership skills and provide kids with hands-on opportunities to show off what they've learned: spearheading neighborhood cleanup initiatives, developing community literacy programs, creating microenterprises and helping change views on gender equality.
- We use proven curriculum from partners like Aflatoun to provide social and financial education — self-awareness, personal responsibility, social skills, money management and the basics of business.
- We teach kids how to create solutions for community problems, such as anti-bullying campaigns and improvements of public spaces like parks or schools.
- We help build the belief that kids can change their personal situations and their communities for the better and that they have the skills to do so.
Did you know? India, the Dominican Republic and Zambia are among the top 20 countries with the highest instances of child marriages. (More than a third of girls get married before turning 18.) Check out more facts about poverty and empowerment here.
What gets measured?
(In other words, how do you know it's working?)
"What gets measured gets done," someone once said. (And we agree!) We work with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) to measure specific results as part of our program.
Empowering kids means equipping them with the skills, knowledge and social responsibility that helps them become agents of change. To measure progress in this area, we use data collection and analysis to identify the percent of youth with the ability to voice their own opinion and those who actively participate as leaders and volunteers in their communities.
These intermediate steps help make that possible:
- Strengthened life skills, measured by the percent of individuals who self-report having a strong competency in the long list of essential life skills as defined by the World Health Organization.
- Increased social responsibility, measured by data that identifies the percent of individuals who self-report having a strong competency in social responsibility.
A natural leader, Edilma became the first girl to play on the youth program's soccer team ... and ultimately began encouraging other girls to play as well. Breaking down barriers helped Edilma believe she has the power to make her life's dreams come true.