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Harnessing the imagination, ideals, energies and work of young women and men are imperative for the continuing development, both economically and socially, of the societies in which they live. Young people (aged 15-24) represent approximately 18% of the global population, with 87% of this cohort residing in the developing world and 45% of them living on less than $2 a day. Young people are quite vulnerable to conditions of extreme poverty, lack of employment and poor health. We know that in order to reach our Campaign goal of helping 100 million families move out of extreme poverty, targeting the youth cohort is imperative to ensuring an intergenerational movement out of poverty.
Microfinance has traditionally targeted adults, largely bypassing young people for a number of reasons including legal restrictions, high transaction costs and negative stereotypes about youth. Today, youth microfinance initiatives have begun to garner attention thanks movement builders Child and Youth Finance International and the Youth Economic Opportunities initiative of Making Cents International. Nevertheless, globally youth are still 33% less likely to have a savings account than adults and 44% less likely to save in formal institutions. Young people’s transition to adulthood encounters some degree of difficulty regardless of socioeconomic background, however, for those youth living in poverty – they face one of the most difficult transitions, especially for young women. If the needs of these young people are not met, including the acquisition of marketable skills or social assets, they may not be able to realize their full potential and be rendered to a life in persistent poverty.
Providing access to financial and non-financial services is a key to helping young people make their own economic decisions and escape poverty. Financially including youth can promote entrepreneurship, asset building and the construction of a sustainable livelihood as they enter into adulthood. Paired with livelihood training and financial education, the potential of this kind of investment in youth is clear: a pathway out of poverty.
BRAC Maendeleo Tanzania recognizes that this kind of investment in adolescents, especially girls, is key to bringing prosperity to the future of Tanzania. For these reasons, they have the Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescent (ELA) program. The ELA program works with vulnerable teenage girls in Tanzania to build their confidence while empowering them socially and financially. Targeting girls aged 11 to 19 years old, the program is facilitated through an adolescent girls club and combines innovative livelihood and life skills trainings with a customized microfinance program.
In celebration of Global Money Week 2014, we co-hosted a webinar with Child and Youth Finance International titled “How can Microfinance be More Inclusive to Children and Youth?” during which BRAC Maendeleo Tanzania announced a Campaign Commitment, thus joining a global coalition of organizations committed to working towards the goal of helping 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty.
BRAC Maendeleo Tanzania announced their Campaign Commitment as the following:
- Doubling by the end of 2014, the number of both clubs and participants in the ELA program from 180 clubs reaching 7,600 girls to 360 clubs reaching 14,800 girls.
- Doubling the provision of financial support through the ELA program from 2,000 girls through $300,000 to 4,000 girls with $550,000
We are excited to welcome this new partner to the global coalition and learn about their progress towards these impressive benchmarks at the 2014 Microcredit Summit!
Read the BRAC Maendeleo Tanzania Commitment letter here: http://bit.ly/BRACtnz_Commitment
“About 23% of the total population in Tanzania are adolescents, we need to uplift them to bring positive changes to the country” – BRAC Tanzania
Learn more about the state of youth in Tanzania through through this youth-led research: http://bit.ly/Youth_Tnz
Learn more about the ELA program:
Join BRAC Maendeleo Tanzania and State your Campaign Commitment
Join BRAC Maendeleo in the global coalition help 100 million families lift themselves out of poverty – state your Campaign Commitment at firstname.lastname@example.org
Need additional guidance in formulating your own Campaign Commitment? Refer to our Commitment Development Toolkit.
Learn more about the Microcredit Summit Campaign: http://www.microcreditsummit.org/