Stronger Girls and Women. Strong Communities.
When you’re a girl or a woman in Latin America and the Caribbean, you’re likely among the region’s most vulnerable people. You probably live in an impoverished neighborhood, in a rural area, or worse: you fled your home when violence broke out around you. You’re also a single or teenage mother. You're Afro-descendant and your family belongs to one of many indigenous groups that are excluded from mainstream society. You’re uneducated and lack a job. You probably also have little hope that things will ever get better.
Rosely Robledo, 29, knows this all too well. She fled her home in Bojayá in rural western Colombia when leftist fighters and right-wing paramilitary units overran her town and bullets started flying.
“We were caught in the middle. It was terrible. Some stayed. Some of us left,” she said.
Forced to escape from the brutality of Colombia’s civil war, Rosaly fled to northern Colombia where it was safer. But she left everything behind and became one of more than 5 million Colombians displaced by war. She had no education, no job. As an Afro-Colombian woman, she faced terrible discrimination.
For girls and women like Rosely, the challenges are daunting. They often lack access to education, jobs, and face social exclusion and violence. They also face forced labor, human trafficking, deep poverty, and societal attitudes that devalue them. These long standing problems are rooted in gender inequality and discrimination, which undercut their self-worth and hope for a better life. And this problem is affecting not only them, but also the overall progress and prosperity of the communities where they live.
This is why it is so important that we do something about this problem. And it can work! In the past 20 years, more than 70 million women (more than the entire population of France) have joined the workforce in Latin America and the Caribbean. Consequently this has reduced extreme poverty in the region by 30 percent in the last decade. We can’t stop now. Will you give?
In northern Colombia, after a difficult period, Rosely learned about a business cooperative that PADF was supporting with the goal of giving 120 women like her—many of them heads of households—an opportunity to work under better conditions with higher pay, where they could have a financial stake in the company. She was so excited, she said, when she learned that she could join because she knew it would change her life. (View photos of their business)
This opportunity was the helping hand that she needed so desperately, that little push in the right direction that all of us have received at some point in life from someone who cared about us. Today, other girls and women in Haiti, Colombia, Mexico, Belize, Chile, and other countries need our help.
The business cooperative has given Rosely and the other women greater self-confidence. Now they see themselves as business owners. They are also beginning to see that they can have a strong impact in the financial stability of their families and the development of their children. “As a result of this work,” said Rosely, “my children will be able to go to school. I also hope to study one day.”
Transform a life! Give girls and women access to a good education, a dignified job, new opportunities, and an honest chance to succeed. Then see how they multiply the impact of your investment by extending the benefits to their children, families, and surrounding communities.
Regardless of what you give, your investment will grow.
You can also give monthly and ensure ongoing support throughout the year.
Thanks for your contribution!
The PADF Team
Click here to learn more about how we help girls and women succeed!
Check out our “Empowering Girls and Women for Prosperity” magazine.