According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), inequality has increased almost everywhere in recent decades. UNDP also reported that inequality is connected to low life expectancy, high crime rates, lack of quality education, absence of safe and clean water, political instability, and conflict among communities.
The reduction of inequalities is crucial in raising the quality of people’s lives. Goal #10 of the Sustainable Development Goals intends to reduce inequalities within and among countries by the year 2030. To meet that target, governments, companies, local communities, social entrepreneurs, and individuals need to come together. Below are highlights of four organizations that strive to ensure that individuals enjoy equal rights and opportunities in the areas of gender, education, and basic human needs.
Akhaya Women is a local initiative in Myanmar that stands to challenge gender stereotypes, to reduce gender inequalities in homes and communities, and to campaign for safer and more equal environments for women to live in.
It emphasizes on strengthening women's self-confidence by supporting women groups and enabling women to enjoy their rights in their social environment. The non-profit has been working on different initiatives to support women empowerment.
Akhaya’s programs are mainly on women empowerment, gender equality, and social business. Women empowerment programs include mentorship for women leaders, skills development trainings, and action campaigns for violence against women.
For gender equality programs, Akhaya proposes child-centered and gender sensitive development approaches for children. Mothers are also trained to identify gender issues related to social practices and cultural norms in the family. Fathers are also educated informally to share the tasks of child rearing with mothers.
Social business programs were established with the aim of creating socially useful businesses that will lead women to become self-sustaining in the long run. It plans to develop a model for women’s employee-owned and cooperative social business programs. Akhaya Women believes that enhanced income opportunities along with increased self-knowledge and self-confidence, would enhance women’s status in their families and support their decision-making roles.
Young Women Christian Association Myanmar (YWCAM) is an organization that encourages young women’s active participation on issues affecting communities and raises grassroots voices in the global debates. Its purpose is to develop advocacy agenda with the commitment to women’s full and equal participation in the community.
The sector provides a safe space for young women and adolescent girls to share knowledge of leadership, life skills, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. They also help in empowering women in the grassroots communities with vocational trainings and as well raising awareness in advocating for women’s opportunities and rights.
Eagles Foundation for Humanity
Eagles Foundation for Humanity is an organization of skilled and talented youth from different parts of Nigeria that engage in charity and humanitarian work. The organization aims toward helping underserved communities that lack basic human needs for sustenance and survival.
Eagles Foundation works with a network of 105 youths across Nigeria to provide basic needs for the poor in rural communities. Their mode of operation is to carry out research to identify marginalized rural areas. They then raise funds from their members and philanthropists. Since 2015, they have been organizing an annual major charity outreach program.
In the course of eradicating inequalities, the organization has impacted 1000 persons in five remote communities in Kwara State. In 2016, the organization gave 250 textbooks to two secondary schools and handed out relief materials to four communities in both Kwara and Osun states.
In 2017, the foundation fulfilled the Omilende Community's lifelong dream of having access to clean and safe water with the construction of a borehole. In 2018, they visited the slums of Amukoko Lagos to end period poverty with the distribution of free reusable menstrual pads to 1000 girls.
Kayode Alabi Leadership and Career initiative
Kayode Alabi Leadership and Career initiative was established by social entrepreneur Hammed Kayode Alabi. He was born and raised in the slums and spent majority of his years working in underserved communities. Having understood the suffering and inequalities rural dwellers are going through, he developed a non-profit organization to impact rural communities across Africa.
The aim of KALCI is to solve the problems of unemployment and skill gaps among people from underserved communities. KALCI impacts rural communities with quality and practical education. In doing so, KALCI can empower people from rural areas by giving them an opportunity to have access to their basic needs.
To achieve its goals, KALCI recruits volunteers, young professionals, and youth educators. They train them on leadership, global citizenship, and mentorship. Volunteers then cascade these skills to young people in underserved communities.
One of its successful projects is Project LECT which is a mobile mentorship and counseling symposia where secondary school students are exposed to global citizenship, leadership, entrepreneurship, and character training.
Skill2Rural boot camp is another program where students and teachers in rural communities, with the help of youth educators, are exposed to 21st-century skills needed in the workplace. At the end of the training the teachers and pupils are required to work in groups to create marketable prototypes and innovative solutions to many of the problems they face within their communities.
The 10 Days Rural Education Campaign was also a huge impactful project for the organization. The program is geared towards harnessing the power of young people and social media platform to share powerful quotes and stories that motivated government, civil society organizations and private individuals to prioritize the education of rural children with the use of the hashtag #PrioritizingRuralEducation. It encouraged people to donate and sponsor rural school kids.
These organizations carry with them the idealism and the determination to bring change to communities. Despite the challenges and difficulties that come their way, they remain relentless in fighting to reduce inequalities.
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