Areas of Focus: Livelihoods

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EMpower envisions a future in which young people can readily access the training and opportunities they need to find or create decent work.

The largest wave of young people in history – 1.7 billion strong – will enter the global labor force over the course of the next decade. An estimated 85 million young men and women are currently unemployed, representing close to half of all the unemployed worldwide.

Chronic poverty passes from one generation to the next, unless young people acquire the tools and have the opportunity to earn a living wage. Work is not only critical to survival, it helps define who we are and enables us to contribute to family and societal well-being. For youth who are unsuccessful at obtaining gainful employment or income, the potential consequences include poverty, alienation and involvement in high-risk activities. Alternatively, the prospect of earning an income creates a sense of economic independence, self-esteem and purpose that empowers youth to look to the future.

To maximize and create additional opportunities for decent, dignified work for at-risk young people, EMpower supports local organizations that enable young people to develop a range of intellectual, technical, practical and social skills.

Our aims are to:
  • Enhance employability and job-readiness
  • Increase financial literacy
  • Help young people build assets such as saving for the future or accessing microcredit where appropriate
  • Prepare youth to grow their potential through self-employment, entrepreneurship or vocational skills
  • Open new horizons, such as training in nontraditional fields like construction work for young women


Our Grantee Partners’ Work in Livelihoods

Urban Agriculture Network (Urbanet), Ghana

In the Northern Region, Ghana’s poorest, unemployment among young people aged 15-24 is thought to be 49%. High illiteracy and school drop-out rates and lack of access to training opportunities force youth to migrate to the South in search of livelihoods opportunities.

Urban Agriculture Network (Urbanet) works to strengthen the skills of youth to work in Ghana’s largest industrial sector, agriculture. Urbanet provides young women and men with training in fields like shea-butter processing and animal rearing, and provides them with support to set up their own businesses or form cooperatives within a range of value chains. Youth also gain financial literacy and business management skills, while increasing their knowledge of sexual health issues and strengthening their capacity to address gender based violence.

Read more here!

Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.