AUSTIN, Texas — While the kids are putting on makeup 30% of the world’s population, 50% of the world’s extremely poor are children. Research has shown that lifting families out of poverty can have major positive effects on the future of their young children. Since 1990, the number of children under the age of 5 dying from poverty-related problems has risen from 34,200 to 14,200 per day and children have better health and well-being. Fortunately, a notable organization is working to reduce child poverty. Here is some information on EMpower’s impact on youth poverty.
the Emerging Markets Foundation (EMpower) is an international organization that works to enable the success of young people by increasing their economic well-being, helping them lead safe and healthy lives and bringing attention to inclusive learning. Its mission is to provide financial grants and support to local organizations in emerging countries. EMpower’s impact on poverty is significant as it supports grantee partners in 15 countries and channels resources towards investing in young people.
Dr. Nisha Dhawan, Country Director of EMpower India, says youth empowerment means recognizing the voice, choice and wisdom of young people, as well as soliciting their contribution throughout the life cycle. One of the organization’s projects is the Teenage Learning Community who works with young girls in India to solve problems in their own lives. Dhawan said that “they design a program, they budget their program, they design and operationalize their intervention within the community, and then they actually go in and they measure the impact.”
Economic well-being is the ability of individuals to cope with their most basic needs and have enough income to thrive. Global, 129 million girls are not in school and millions more are in school without learning. Getting a good education is crucial to reducing poverty and about 171 million people could escape extreme poverty if every child left school with reading skills.
EMpower recognizes the importance of inclusive learning for young children from all backgrounds. For this reason, EMpower’s impact on poverty has expanded to support local solutions that provide teacher training, academic support, digital literacy and knowledge of international languages. The EMpower grant program has awarded a grant to United Through Sport South Africa, an organization that works to provide children with the skills to succeed in secondary school and improve the quality of education in the country.
Safe and healthy lives
Both physical and mental health must be considered to lead a healthy life. Globally, one in seven people aged 10 to 19 deals with a mental state. Dhawan said: “We found that over 90% of all the girls we interviewed said they were experiencing some form of mental health problem. However, these issues are usually not addressed. Adolescence is a crucial time in the development of skills important for mental and physical health, such as developing healthy sleep habits, problem solving, and effective coping skills. Half of HIV infections occur in people between the ages of 15 and 24, and the infection rate for girls is 1.6 times higher than for boys. Dhawan said that “among the girls surveyed, 42% said the pressure to get married had increased. [since COVID].”
EMpower aims to ensure that young and adolescent girls around the world receive protection against domestic, sexual and community violence such as sex trafficking and early marriage. The Galaxy Fund is a Russian organization that started in 2010 to change the lives of at-risk children such as orphans and victims of commercial sexual exploitation. EMpower supports the Galaxy Fund while working to develop safeguard policies as well as a business arm to help with fundraising.
A inclusive learning environment recognizes diversity and works to enable all students to reach their full potential. The average world income per capita is $10,298 as of 2018 according to the World Bank. In addition, 85 million young people are out of work, almost half of the global number. Children are more vulnerable to the negative effects of poverty than adults. One of these negative effects is the quality of education, which determines a child’s future. Children living below the poverty line are more likely to attend schools with few resources, less government funding and less parental involvement due to longer and less well paid working hours for parents living in poverty.
EMpower supports organizations that help children develop skills to improve their own economic well-being, such as entrepreneurship and asset-building skills. The organization has awarded a grant to the Vietnamese organization Know One, Teach One, which encourages at-risk street children to undergo a two-year training program that helps them develop vocational skills and gives them work opportunities. . Know One, Teach One even runs two restaurants and food services where these kids work to develop their skills and experience.
Poverty among young children is a pressing problem worldwide. Factors such as access to education, mental and physical health, and economic well-being have the ability to change the lives of young people. EMpower’s work with grantees has helped fund local initiatives around the world. The last 20 years of the organization’s work with young people around the world has increased hope in young girls and the organization continues to show the greatness of these children and adolescents. “82% of the young people we spoke to had hope for their future,” Dhawan said, “so who am I, or who are we not to have hope?”
– Catherine Rogers