Vulnerable Women and Girls
Our main beneficiaries are marginalized women and girls including low income earners and those facing societal barriers (incarceration). Empowerment will grant them access to resources through which they will gain independence and become productive citizens.
This is in recognition of the ongoing "Global Call for Women and Girls Empowerment" as vulnerable women & girls around the world (mainly those in under developed nations) struggle with various challenges; such as less opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to education and greater health risks.
Meanwhile, evidence shows that putting economic resources in the hands of women is the best way to accelerate development, sustain poverty reduction and achieve a developed society. This is because the benefits of empowering women is not exclusive to their nuclear family circles; empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities and countries, thus creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone. Even women with much less opportunities are able to create a positive impact in their communities.
For instance, during our research in Lower Yoni, Tonkolili District in the rural areas of Sierra Leone, we found that despite the lack of basic resources women play a pivotal role in providing food for their families and supporting children's education. In these localities, communities are faced with a plethora of issues including poor sanitation, lack of safe water, defunct educational and health systems. Also, in contrast with men, the women typically have a greater investment in their homes and communities despite minimal access to resources. They take on the responsibility as the family's income earner through small scale farming in an attempt to increase the quality of life for themselves and their families. Therefore, it is clear that given the right platform
We also learnt that majority of girls have never been to school, equivalent to an almost equal number of dropouts whilst those within the school system can hardly read or write. With no education, business and job opportunities, it is hardly surprising that these girls have no self worth, sense of purpose and consequently become teenage brides and mothers. The numbers are set to rise as the population increases.
Moreover, the absence of basic health facilities results in major unintended consequences such as untimely death among pregnant women/girls, birth defects and high infant mortality rate. In terms of the latter, Sierra Leone still maintains a top spot in the world health index. Some of the challenges mentioned above are highlighted in a short video clip which can be accessed via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giWbbnEpKAo&t=55s
To mitigate the above issues, Keeping Hope Alive strives to create sustainable development opportunities for vulnerable women and girls which will enable them to fulfill their potential and effect change. We hope to achieve this through interventions focused on eradicating poverty, zero hunger, ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all, quality education, clean water & sanitation as well as climate action. All of these goals are in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) listed in the 2030 Agenda.
We believe that Empowering women and girls;
(i) Is key to unlocking potential economic prosperity (ii) Translates into non-reliance or freedom from donor funding