Many countries around the world remain poor due to the lack of educational and financial opportunities that are naturally available in the western world. When young women have more educational, financial and training opportunities, their lives and the lives of their children improve dramatically. A number of organizations combine efforts in an attempt to empower women living in impoverished countries. By having access to the advantages that women in the western world enjoy, young mothers are better able to support themselves and their youngsters. If women don’t see the workforce as an advantage or even an option, we can’t expect them to more actively participate in their local economies.
In Guatemala, Nigeria and other third-world countries, girls often marry young and start families. For too many, there are no other options. Other young women gain employment from the time of childhood in an effort to boost the family’s financial income. However, they commonly work for slave wages that prevent them from making a better life. Living in remote, poor regions deprives them of an education and the skills needed to support themselves and their loved ones sufficiently.
The Mercy Corps job training program, the Coca-Cola Company, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Starbucks are making it their global mission to equip young women for a prosperous future in various countries around the world by providing better education, skills training and financial opportunities. After completing programs, many young women have gone on to establish their own businesses and become more financially stable.
The Regional Initiative in Science and Education or RISE project from the Institute for Advanced Study hails from Princeton, New Jersey. The organization developed a project to introduce innovation, science and technological education in the sub-Saharan regions of Africa to benefit young women. Given the increase in STEM careers, there’s a wealth of opportunity for women in need.
The RISE project encourages students to obtain graduate degrees in various fields of study. The students in turn act as educators and mentors for other young women. Some go on to become researchers in different scientific fields affiliated with various institutions and universities across the country.
In this way, the programs and educational opportunities offered to the women benefit not only them and their families but also the communities in which they live. Studies suggest that educating young mothers who start businesses or gain better employment positions adds millions of dollars to regional economies. The educated women also play a major role in creating a more harmonious environment in their community, which enables all to live in peace and thrive.
About Aisha Babangida: Aisha Babangida lives in Nigeria where she works to better the African Community, specifically the lives of rural women and children. She believes in the power of education and financial inclusion as exhibited by her work with the Better Life Program and the Egwafin Microfinance Bank. You can hear more from Aisha on her blog.
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