Argentina continues to face a sharp economic decline, with very high inflation rates. The country’s GDP contracted by 10.3% in 2020, due to COVID, and the national poverty rate soared to 41%. According to UNICEF, 63% of Argentinean children and adolescents live below the poverty line. In the province of Buenos Aires, that figure climbs to 71%. The official unemployment rate stands at 7% but, when counting the 2.5 million people that left the formal job market due to lack of opportunities, that figure soars to 28%. Informality is pervasive in Argentina’s labour market. The percentage of informal employment stands at 46.4%. Young people, especially young women, have been the most affected, with an official unemployment rate of 25% (compared to 17% for young men). According to the International Labour Organization, young people also have higher rates of informal employment, which translates into lower wages, less job security, precarious working conditions, and a lack of benefits such as social security coverage.
Enseña por Argentina (ExA) is a non-profit organisation based in Buenos Aires whose mission is to address educational inequity by guaranteeing access to quality education among young people living in marginalized communities. ExA was founded in 2012 and is part of the Teach For All network, a global collective of 60 independent, locally-led and funded organisations. ExA focuses on recruiting and training college graduates, placing them in public schools located in high-need communities throughout Argentina for two years. During that time, graduates receive hands-on training from ExA and study to obtain a Masters-level degree in teaching, allowing them to continue to work in their selected schools following the completion of their placement. Last year, ExA trained 76 teachers and impacted 10,000 students, strengthening their academic performance and life skills and helping them develop plans for their future.
EMpower’s first grant to Enseña por Argentina (ExA) will support the organisation to further develop its employability efforts by developing an in-person training program that will complement an online initiative launched in 2021. The program will support 60 marginalized young people between the ages of 18 and 24 (60% female and 40% male) from two marginalized communities in the Province of Buenos Aires to increase their employment prospects through strengthening key life skills, vocational skills, and financial literacy, and accessing ongoing career and job placement support. At the institutional strengthening level, the grant will support ExA to grow its individual donor base and increase its visibility.
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