I’ve been in Bangladesh for more than two months now, working with CARE Bangladesh on their programming to help rural farmers improve their agricultural practices – and incomes.
The challenge: Around the world, millions of people are locked out of economic opportunity because they don’t have the right tools and resources. This burden is particularly acute for youth and women. Only 63 percent of women aged 25 to 54 participate in the labour force, compared with 94 percent for men. Around the world, it is estimated that 71 million youth are unemployed – and 16 percent of employed youth are considered “working poor.” This exclusion results in hardship at the household level, and slower growth of the global economy.
Our solution: We work on multiple fronts to create opportunities for all to build a more prosperous future. Our programs address a wide spectrum of needs, from community-based savings groups, to financial services and support to women and youth entrepreneurs. We invest in innovative, market-focused initiatives that build the knowledge, skills, and institutional capacities to promote sustainable economic growth in remote or marginalized communities.
- Civil Society
- Economic Inclusion
- Engaging Canadians
- Environment and Climate Change
- Food Security and Nutrition
- Gender Equality
The Smart Campaign is a global effort spearheaded by the Center for Financial Inclusion, dedicated to “uniting microfinance leaders around a common goal: to keep clients as the driving force of the industry” – by following principles designed to help microfinance institutions practise good ethics and smart business.
These are the keys to a lockbox where 12 members of a savings group in Mozambique are investing their earnings. With the return on their investments, they have been able to make basic improvements to their homes, like a freezer, an oven, a table and chairs, bowls and plates, and a roof that doesn’t leak.
It sits nestled in the palm of my hand, a shrunken, wrinkled russet sphere that rattles softly when I shake it. I find it in Zeverdashd, a Tajik village wedged between the towering Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. It represents a livelihood for 15 women and their families.
Apendiwe Momade sits in the shade outside her home in rural Mozambique, next to a billowing pile of dried grass.
Her legs are outstretched on one of her homemade mats, her fingers a blur as she expertly twists the grass into intricate patterns.
Several wooden spoons and forks are perched on a table as Fatima puts the finishing touches on another one. Around her, other carpenters are carving signs, measuring material, and smoothing out large pieces of wood for new projects.
For these young climbers, reaching the top of the ice fall isn’t just about personal achievement – succeeding as a mountaineer means unlocking new opportunities in a region where a steady income can be hard to come by.
Sufo designs and crafts intricate silver jewellery in his workshop and sells the pieces to earn a living for him and his family. He uses his earnings to buy books, school materials, and food.