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Creating Your Future / Creando Tu Futuro

Program Information


Program Supporter: The Citi Foundation
Implementing Partner: Kuepa.com


The Challenge

Despite the large youth population, developing countries have failed to absorb the youth into their education systems and labor markets, thereby not fully benefiting from this “youth dividend.” In Latin America and the Caribbean, young people account for roughly 50% of all unemployed workers in nearly every country in the region. Sustained unemployment reinforces inter­-generational transmission of poverty, promotes anti­-social and high­-risk behavior, and restricts the ability of a community and economy to grow and realizes it’s social and economic development goals. It is essential to promote youth employment by encouraging programs that provide youth with soft and hard working skills that will help them get better jobs and continue their education and professional growth at a higher level.

The Opportunity

The Creating Your Future / Creando Tu Futuro – Workplace Skills Program is an innovative job skills training program aimed at building a strong foundation of technical and life skills knowledge for low income youth in Latin America. Launching in Argentina and Colombia, with a smaller pilot program in the Dominican Republic, the program will develop and deliver a blended platform of online learning modules and classroom instruction to 2200 low­-income youth with the goal of preparing graduates for secure, financially sustainable jobs in the organized sector. The program will provide beneficiaries with instruction through four unique modules: math and literacy skill; workplace communication with applied English; technical and technology skills; and a blend of personal financial management and job search skills. The central goal of the program is to maximize the employability of participants by empowering them with the fundamental technical and personal skills necessary to effectively pursue and secure full employment, and achieve sustainable personal and professional success in their future careers.

Learn More

Visit creandotufuturo.com to learn more about the program, curriculum, and learning modules.

Program Leadership Team

Jessica Yarrow
Country Director, Latin America

GFI's Latin America Country Director, Jessica Yarrow, has been in Guatemala since 1997 working for human rights organizations supporting local initiatives to improve labor rights, access to justice, economic development and to end human trafficking. She also has experience interpreting and translating for visiting funders and academic groups. With GFI Jessica will provide insight and manage our current projects in Latin America. She holds a master’s degree in International and Intercultural Management from the School for International Service and a B.A. in Spanish/Latin American Studies from American University in Washington, DC.

Recent Activities

Visit soon to learn more about Creating Your Future program activities and milestones

Feedback

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Sololá Agro-Industry Initiative

Program Information


Program Supporter: The Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation


The Challenge

Indigenous communities throughout Central America have historically been victims of an institutionally structured process of marginalization. Over countless years, these communities have seen social and political rights withheld and were often targets of human rights abuses during the 1980s. To address the many challenges of Sololá’s indigenous farmers, GFI has launched a community-based initiative designed to empower farming communities through improved agricultural production, market access and finance opportunities to help expand economic opportunity. The Sololá Agro-Industry Initiative (SAII) is designed to strengthen economic opportunity for indigenous agricultural producers and break down existing barriers faced by small-holder organic farmers by creating links to higher value, more sustainable markets. Additionally, the SAII program uses a robust multi-stakeholder engagement process to ensure that the voice and participation of the indigenous Mayan communities of Sololá are included in larger economic decision making within Guatemala’s agricultural development agenda.

The Opportunity

SAII is working with both smallholder farming communities and large buyers. Training and capacity building focuses on improving farming inputs and promoting skills and practices that address productivity, quality, and value. While all training modules are developed in partnership with the community, trainings will be designed around environmental and economic best practices and decent work standards in the agricultural sector. SAII is working to connect farming communities with larger buyers and secure transfer of knowledge through successful business contracts. Trainings could potentially adapt to buyer requirements without compromising labor or environmental standards.

Program Leadership Team

Jessica Yarrow

Country Director, Guatemala

GFI's Guatemala Country Director, Jessica Yarrow, has been in Guatemala since 1997 working for human rights organizations supporting local initiatives to improve labor rights, access to justice, economic development and to end human trafficking. She also has experience interpreting and translating for visiting funders and academic groups. With GFI Jessica will provide insight and manage our current projects in Guatemala. She holds a master’s degree in International and Intercultural Management from the School for International Service and a B.A. in Spanish/Latin American Studies from American University in Washington, DC.

Recent Activities

Visit soon to learn more about the SAII program activities and milestones

Feedback

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Guinea-Bissau Livelihood Initiative

Program Information


Program Supporter: The Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation
Implementing Partners: APALCOF, ANAG


The Challenge and the Opportunity

Farming communities throughout Guinea-Bissau have historically been victims of an entrenched, and often institutional, process of economic marginalization. The Guinea-Bissau Livelihood Initiative aims to break the current poverty cycle affecting smallholder producers and improve livelihoods through support of government priorities on economic growth and poverty reduction with a focus on agricultural production, market access and regulatory improvements for the farming sector. GBLI will target crop diversification for food security by providing technical assistance on producing high value crops like tomatoes, onions and particularly rice, which is a priority for the national development agenda of Guinea Bissau. The program’s core goals are to provide technical assistance, infrastructure investments, access to financing and technology, and direct market linkages for small-holder farmers. The market access strategy will also focus on opportunities to improve the conditions for processing, pricing and trading of cashews, and other high value products. The underlying objectives are to economically empower poor producers (primarily women), to extract great value from their products and facilitate a more enabling regulatory and commercial environment for smallholder producers throughout the Guinea-Bissau.

Partners and Stakeholders

GBLI is working with a community of approximately 5,000 women and men employed in agricultural production. The program will engage stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau’s agriculture sector through four key interventions: technical assistance and capacity building, producer investment and market linkages, policy engagement, and enterprise leadership development. In order to address the root causes of poverty GBLI will target the interrelated barriers that contribute to the fundamental breakdowns in Guinea-Bissau’s agricultural economy. By leveraging GFI’s expertise in livelihood development and market access to maximize the capacity of local agricultural cooperatives and producer groups, the GBLI program aims to remove the barriers to economic opportunity for small producers in one of the world’s poorest and most isolated nations.

Program Leadership Team

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Haua Embaló

Country Director, Guinea-Bissau

Haua Embaló is a manager in the socioeconomic field of study with expertise in project management, strategic planning, institutional development and microfinance development. With over 11 years of experience in community development, Embaló’s career includes the design and implementation of poverty reduction programs to generate income for local producers and youth organizations in craftwork, rice production and the cashew sector in Guinea Bissau. Prior to joining GFI, Haua worked for 10 years with SNV (a Dutch organization working in community development in Guinea-Bissau) as an adviser and project manager. In addition to her work as a project manager, she also worked as an independent consultant on numerous projects and programs in Guinea-Bissau. Haua began working as GFI Country Director for Guinea-Bissau in January 2016.

Jean

Jean Marsault Ella

Deputy Country Director, Guinea-Bissau

Jean Marsault is originally from Cameroon, where he did his entire nursery, primary, secondary and university studies. He is a graduate, as a Field Engineer in Telecommunication, from the National Polytechnic Bamenda, Cameroon. He later on went for further studies in the Republic of South Africa where he studied community development at the Kwazulu Natal Experimental College in Pinetown, Durban and graduated as a Development Instructor. As a pre-requisite for completion of community development studies, he did a successful six-month internship with Humana People to People in South Africa, an international NGO. Prior to joining GFI, Jean Marsault worked with a number of organizations, including ADPP in Guinea-Bissau, an international organization member of the International Federation of the Humana People to People, where he held the position of Partnership Officer; APALCOF, a major small holder farmers’ association in Guinea-Bissau, where he held the position of Program Manager; and, has been an independent consultant with the Guinea-Bissau National Civil Society Movement. He is versed in the English, French and Portuguese languages. In September 2014, Ella began working on the Guinea-Bissau Livelihood Initiative –GFI’s program in Guinea-Bissau – and he’s hoping to create a significant impact on the local populations’ livelihood.

Jean

Infamara Mane

Program Officer, Guinea-Bissau

Infamara Mane is natural born Bissau Guinean and he completed his primary, secondary, and higher education in The Republic of the Gambia at Malfa Primary school, Nusrat High school, and The National School of Forestry. He returned to Guinea-Bissau in 1990 and served as a junior staff member on Projecto Palmares under the Department of Forestry of Guinea-Bissau. In late 1993, he was appointed as an English Teacher in a High School in the Region of Cacheu in Guinea-Bissau. From 1994 to 1998 he continued teaching at the school and simultaneously contracted as secretary to the Taiwan Medical Mission in Canchungo in the Region of Cacheu. After the Guinea-Bissau Civil war of 1998/99 he was transferred to the capital city - Bissau - as English teacher at Liceu Nacional Kwame N’Krumah. In the year 2000, he was hired as an English and Basic Economics teacher at the Guinea-Bissau National School of Administration (CENFA), where he worked until 2008, when he returned to the Gambia and served as forest ranger until 2009 and was offered the opportunity to further his education at the National School of Forestry. He graduated with a degree in Forest Management and Land Conflict Resolution in 2011. Back in Guinea Bissau, he is presently appointed as Program Officer of the Global Fairness Initiative in Guinea-Bissau.

Recent Activities

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Feedback

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Retail Opportunity Training Initiative

Program Information


Program Supporter The Walmart Foundation
Implementing Partner: SEWA Ni Manager School (SMS)


The Challenge

Representing close to 20% of GDP, India's retail industry is the fifth largest in the world and the fastest growing in India, and it is expected to grow at double digit rates over the next decade. While retail, and many other sectors in the economy have grown rapidly, it remains that well over half of India’s working-age women are unemployed or under-employed. In both urban and rural locations throughout India women fall behind men in employment rates by as much as 50%, and the largest gaps are in the formal and organized sector of the job market. With fewer livelihood options, Indian women have experienced high rates of dependency and often remain in the lowest-skilled and lowest-paying jobs, mostly in the informal sector. There are many causes for this problem including high levels of illiteracy, lower primary school participation and graduation rates, and limited training opportunities on the skills necessary for success in the country's growth sectors. In addition to technical job skills, many women also lack fundamental "life skills" training centered on literacy, self-esteem, personal communication, basic financial management and other skills central to an empowered life and livelihood. Bridging this gap between available jobs and the fundamental hard and soft skill necessary to secure them is an essential step in addressing the challenge of underemployment of women and to building the confident, well-prepared workforce necessary to maximize the success of India’s growth sectors.

The Opportunity

With core support from the Walmart Foundation, the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) and the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) have launched a robust certificate-level training program aimed at delivering high-value, opportunity-driven instruction in retail sales and management to 36,000 women in India. The program is designed to prepare graduates for market-facing job opportunities, and build a foundation of key life and livelihood skills. ROTI trainings combine practical retail sales and management knowledge with the personal and professional life management skills essential for success in India’s competitive formal job market. The ROTI curriculum is designed in close collaboration with retailers and market stakeholders to ensure that the necessary hard and soft skills are well reflected, and it is rooted in GFI and SEWA’s training methodology that maximizes participation. Using highly accessible and interactive instruction aimed at building confidence and core skills, the ROTI courses will provide women the skills and opportunity to move from traditional low-skilled, low paying informal employment to stable, higher-skilled and higher-income jobs with real professional growth potential. The program is designed to bridge the opportunity gap between India’s underemployed women and the country’s fastest growing economic sector.

Program Leadership Team

Smita Bhatnagar, Director, SEWA’s Manager Ni School, India
Jennifer Marlay, ROTI Program Director

Recent Activities

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Feedback

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BeFair Campaign













The BeFair Campaign

The Global Fairness Initiative launched the BeFair Campaign with the goal of expanding the reach of green technology and meaningful economic development.

Each year the BeFair campaign works with a community that could benefit from access to innovation. We listen to what community members consider their greatest challenges and what can be done to help them work more efficiently to improve their livelihoods. Having identified the technology the community needs, we partner with a kindred company that produces and delivers it.

Through our work worldwide we have witnessed the power a simple technology has to transform lives. A clear example was our first campaign, born out of our work with salt farmers in Gujarat India. In the desert salt pans of the Great Rann of Kutch, there is no permanent infrastructure, including electricity. Thanks to contributions by hundreds of supporters GFI successfully purchased and delivered 6,500 solar-powered lanterns to salt farmers in January 2011, helping one of the poorest communities in the world save nearly $400,000 per year or $60 per family.

By contributing to the BeFair campaign you can make a difference each year and ensure that your contributions directly address the needs of the poorest communities throughout the world.

Introducing the 2015 Campaign: Access to Technology

Each year GFI renews a campaign that's all about Access. Access to opportunity - Access to rights - Access to investment; these are the basics of fairness and the roots of the BeFair Campaign. For 2015 our theme is Access to Technology and you can play your part by supporting one of a few simple technologies that significantly improve the lives and livelihoods of the families with whom we work. This year, we are focusing on four communities located in four different countries: Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, India, and Nepal. Each community represents a different group of stakeholders in one of GFI's programs around the world. In Guatemala and Guinea Bissau, participants in the Verapaz Action for Sustainable Agro-Industry (VASAI) program and the Guinea Bissau Livelihood Initiative (GBLI) will receive micro irrigation kits that will help smallholder farmers increase crop yields and profits in an environmentally sustainable way. In India and Nepal, participants in the Salt Workers Economic Empowerment Program (SWEEP) and the Better Brick Nepal (BBN) program will receive clean cook stoves that will help salt farmers and brick workers reduce energy costs and harmful indoor air pollution from traditional cook stoves. With a small investment of $25 you can help provide these innovative, low cost and environmentally conscious technologies to working poor families around the world and help them access the tools they need to break the cycle of poverty to improve their lives and environment around them.

Where will your impact be?

Navigate through the side menu and the map below to see who the BeFair campaign impacts, where they live and how you can help deliver innovative technology and meaningful economic development to those who need it most.


Contribute Today

BeFair Investments