We partner with local organisations in emerging market countries, and other change-makers, to enable marginalised young people to transform their lives and communities.Learn About What We Do
Nick Koh is a Venture Capital Partner at VU Venture Partners, an underwriter at EMpower, and a member of our Hong Kong Board of Directors. Recently he spoke with EMpower’s President & CEO Cynthia Steele about what drew him to EMpower, the power of photography, and more.Read the Interview
Join us in welcoming Kevin Murphy to our US Board! Kevin is currently Senior Managing Director, Partner, and Fixed Income Portfolio Manager at Wellington Management and has been a major champion of EMpower’s work since 2020. We are very grateful for his passionate support of our programmes.
Theodoros Chronopoulos, Senior Programme Officer for Africa and Russia at EMpower, penned an important piece "Fortify Young Minds: Invest in Youth Mental Health."Read Theo's Op-Ed
In a new piece for AVPN, Dr. Nisha Dhawan and Tanvi Mishra explore how EMpower has engaged young people over the years and how our programmes are the better for it.Read the Blog
We are excited to welcome Rekha Nair to the EMpower US Board! Rekha been a dedicated supporter of EMpower since 2014 and was the long-time Co-Chair of EMpower’s Next-Gen, a global initiative that brings together our next generation of young philanthropists. She is currently Executive Director, Emerging Markets Sales, at Standard Chartered Bank.
For 20 years, we have worked alongside local organisations and young people to advance innovative programming and best practices to enable youth to live their full potential.
Youth Directly Impacted
There are more than 1.8 billion young people in the world, and many emerging market countries currently have their largest populations of young people ever. And these numbers are only expected to grow over the next 10 years. Already experiencing significant poverty, discrimination, violence, and exclusion, young people living at the margins now face the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19. The crisis has taken an unprecedented toll on their schooling, health, safety, and livelihoods. Our support to local partners aims to create more opportunities, assets, networks, and safe spaces for young people. EMpower provides financial grants and other value-added support to local organisations in emerging market countries in three interconnected areas that are key to youth development:
With partnership at the heart of our work, EMpower learns from and with our partners, leveraging and sharing learnings from our 100 active grantee partners in 15 EM countries.
UmRio, a recent grantee partner of EMpower, focuses on improving school dropout rates and academic performance in a poor and often violent favela in Rio using a surprising entry point: rugby.
Over 90% of those who join drug gangs in Rio’s favelas are between the ages of 13 and 18. They sometimes see this as their only option, as they have limited access or motivation to go to school and few alternative opportunities or role models. They face financial pressures, so getting an education falls by the wayside. And COVID has only made things worse: As a country, Brazil experienced one of the longest periods of school closure in the world. In the favela of Morro do Castro, where UmRio operates, only 15% of children and young people participated in remote classes during the pandemic, and a whopping 60% have returned to school unable to read or write.
In this environment, UmRio offers another choice. Rugby helps instill values of self-respect and discipline and improves young people’s team building and communications skills. And the organisation goes beyond the sport and provides academic learning opportunities, one-on-one mentoring, as well as professional and personal development. Over the past eight years, UmRio has supported more than 2000 children and young people, inspiring them to make better choices and to return and stay in school.
The Learning Communities On the Move model, developed through an EMpower and CARE partnership, lays out a roadmap for organisations and programmes to shift harmful social and gender norms by centring girls' expertise and dynamic contributions. We believe girls should have access to the decision-making spaces that affect their lives and rights and can lead the way in creating sustainable change and lasting impact in communities.
Stay up-to-date on the latest EMpower news, highlights from our grantee partners, upcoming events, and more.