Community youth microenterprise program
Our Community Youth Microenterprise Program has several goals: keep children in school, empower young community leaders, and reduce economic barriers to education with scholarships and a youth-driven microenterprise project. Economic challenges are typically the largest barrier leading students in rural Honduras to drop out of school. Many parents struggling with unemployment feel forced to send young children to work, often in the fields, to help generate income for their families. This, of course, facilitates a cycle of poverty and lack of education, most prominently seen in rural areas of Honduras. SELF helps create local village Youth Councils that provide support for students living with mutual challenges and successes.
Staying in school
The primary priority of the program is to prevent school drop-out and supporting student’s ability to pursue the highest degree of education possible. If we can help reduce economic barriers, students are able to emphasize their education as the most important focus in their young lives. SELF and their fellow youth council members can also serve as a resource for struggles, as they strive toward common goals.
Building young leaders
Rural communities in Honduras have a number of “Fuerzas Vivas” or Community Leadership Committees including the Patronato (Community Council), Junta de Agua (Water Council), as well as the Parents and Teachers Committee. Equally, community youth are an important organizational resource for their local village. In addition to support for staying in school, students gain many more benefits as members of their local youth council. Children learn real time skills, including teamwork, organization, and leadership. These skills are gained both in practice and in specifically designed workshops and trainings. While they build a self-sufficient village youth council, these students serve as a model for other current and future community committees and organizations. In addition to generating their own income through their microenterprise project, the youth council can partner with other community leadership groups, SELF and other local organizations to complete other important projects (ie painting the village school).
Community microenterprise project
As students generate funds for their own educations, they also learn valuable financial skills such as development of market research, accounting and budgeting. SELF initially provides support for the youth council with a small capital seed, that they then multiply through local fundraisers such as selling homemade food and hosting raffles. Students work towards economic independence, by funding scholarships for their own education. Once the youth council has done market research and established their microenterprise project, SELF helps provide assistance to legally obtain their authority as a registered youth council and managers of their own microenterprise project.
You can make a difference
SELF helps hundreds of children and families, and they depend on the generosity of supporters like you. Each and every donation makes a difference.