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female empowerment in UgandaOne proven way to fight poverty is through entrepreneurship and empowerment, specifically among women. In Uganda, where poverty is still prevalent, there are various jewelry companies working locally to employ women and teach them skills they need to escape poverty. Through female empowerment in Uganda, along with education and financial security, these five jewelry brands are making substantial efforts to eradicate poverty locally, and engage businesses globally.

Projects Have Hope

Projects Have Hope is a certified non-profit organization promoting female empowerment in Uganda, specifically the Acholi Quarter region. In 2006, Projects Have Hope began buying locally made paper-bead jewelry from the Acholi women. Women, in turn, received compensation, which created a steady source of income in these vulnerable regions.

Beyond financial security, the program has an educational aspect. In 2007, the adult literacy program was created. Currently, there are 32 students enrolled in the program, women aged 18 to 45. New sessions are constantly conducted in the hopes of improving the literacy rate amongst women in the country, which is 71.5 percent.

Vocational training also occurs so that women can expand their professional skills in a variety of ways: “catering, hairstyling and salon management, tailoring, knitting, computer and general office skills studies, and driver’s education.” All these efforts can help increase women’s ability to combat poverty in their lives.

Akola

Akola is a company that ensures 100 percent of its revenue generated from jewelry sales returns to the mission of fighting poverty amongst women in Uganda. Women are employed to make jewelry from paper, cow horns, leather, glass, bone, metals, gemstones and textiles. All materials are sourced ethically and all training for the jewelry making is provided by Akola.

Akola also provides various tiers beyond jewelry-making, including economic employment and social services such as wellness training and educational programs. All are meant to help vulnerable women achieve security in life through female empowerment in Uganda.

Bead For Life

Developed in 2004, Bead For Life is based entirely on female empowerment in Uganda. The company trains women locally on entrepreneurial skills and paper-bead production.

In addition to jewelry, the company created a school called the Street Business School. Thus far, 52 thousand Ugandans have been impacted through the program. Eighty-nine percent of graduates have a business within two years of graduation and the average increase in income is 211 percent. Participating women often live below the national poverty line before attendance so the skills they learn greatly impact their future.

31 Bits

The force behind 31 Bits is generating a cycle of support: women support women by buying jewelry they want to wear. Female empowerment in Uganda is achieved as the company employs women with dignified jobs for their artisanal skills. The company has seen great success and many endorsements from celebrities like Sophia Bush, Jessica Alba and Candace Cameron Bure.

Business, along with physical and mental health, are all aspects taken seriously by the company; in fact, they provide training and educational programs for both. Profound progress against fighting poverty often means elevating these factors.

Tuli

Tuli recognizes sustainable change as being linked to long-term solutions, such as job growth. Their work connects women to a larger market of buyers, which ensures that participating communities will have consistent access to a global economy.

In addition to financially compensating the artists for their work, Tuli reinvests their profits back into Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. As more people migrate to the cities, the capital is becoming an important center of development in the country. Tuli gives back in the form of social projects within the city.

Tuli is a registered social purpose corporation, which allows them to take social or environmental issues into consideration during its decision-making processes instead of just focusing on profit-maximizing efforts. As a result, female empowerment in Uganda is a focus of their work.

Local and Global Success

The World Bank reports that Uganda, as a Sub-Saharan African country, is one of the fastest to reduce its amount of the population living below the $1.90 a day poverty line. In 2013, they reduced their population living below the national poverty line to 19.7 percent — a momentous accomplishment.

As women work locally, crafting their jewelry, their ability to sell globally is having tremendous effects on their ability to become financially secure and escape poverty.

– Taylor Jennings
Photo: Google

Education Prevents Poverty
Education is a key factor to reducing and preventing global poverty. Many countries around the world are beginning to realize the importance of education and are investing in it significantly. Making education available to 100 percent of people around the world is one way to ensure that poverty declines. Let’s look at the three most significant ways education prevents poverty.

 

3 Ways Education Prevents Poverty

 

1. Health

Education benefits people’s health throughout their entire lives, from a mother’s pre-birth lifestyle to the likelihood of developing diseases later in life. Women with at least six years of education are more likely to use prenatal vitamins and other useful tactics during pregnancy, thus reducing the risk of maternal or infant mortality. Also, the child of an educated mother is twice as likely to survive to the age of 5 than an uneducated mother. Finally, mothers who have received an education are 50 percent more likely to vaccinate their children at early ages than mothers with little or no education.

Later in life, educated people are less likely to contract diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS. At least 7 million new cases of HIV/AIDS could be prevented if primary education were universal. Studies show that AIDS spreads twice as fast in women who have not received an education. In some countries, schooling is considered a “social vaccine” against HIV infection because girls’ attendance at school is strongly associated with avoiding the infection.

In general, education increases people’s knowledge of how to live a healthy lifestyle. Educated people know what kinds of foods are most nutritious, and therefore are more likely to buy those healthier foods for themselves and their families. Educated mothers will know how to cook healthy meals for their families. An education also provides people with knowledge about vaccinations, clean drinking water and fitness. In most cases, an educated person is a healthy person.

 

2. Economic Growth

By educating an entire population, economic growth is a natural effect. Studies show that each extra year of schooling can increase a person’s salary by 10 percent later in life. This means that a country’s GDP can increase by 1 percent annually by providing education to its entire population. Increasing a country’s GDP creates innumerable opportunities for trade and development.

Education also creates more people who are ready for the workforce. More workers in a country means fewer people will be unemployed. Unemployment has a high correlation with poverty; therefore, by employing more people, a country’s poverty rate will naturally decrease.

No country in the world has achieved rapid and consistent economic growth without at least 40 percent of its adult population being literate. Education can motivate people to become harder workers and can give people the drive to move up in the workforce. Increasing the literacy rate in a country can drastically improve economic development.

 

3. Empowers Women and Girls

Education has proven to benefit women and girls at a higher rate than boys. The empowerment that girls receive from an education both personally and economically is unmatched by any other factor. Women who are educated are usually better decision makers and have higher self-confidence. They are more knowledgeable about how to care for their families. Studies show that in Kenya, if female farmers were provided the same amount of education and resources as male farmers, crop yields could increase 22 percent. This idea can be applied globally.

Educated women are also more likely to delay marriage and have children when they are truly ready. This can ensure that the family will be well taken care of because the mother is prepared for the responsibilities of being a parent. Educated women have a higher likelihood of preventing their children from dying from preventable causes.

In poor countries, each additional year of education beyond grades three or four can provide women with a 20 percent increase in yearly salary. This allows families to be completely self-sufficient. The satisfaction that comes from a woman being able to provide for her family is immeasurable.

  — Hannah Cleveland

Sources: Results, World Education Blog
Photo: U.N.