A recent Christian Science Monitor article takes a look at one school's approach to helping young women address the challenges of poverty and unemployment in Uganda.
With a median age of 15, Uganda has the world's youngest population, according to a 2008 World Bank report. It also has the highest youth (ages 15-24) unemployment rate: 83 percent. It's common to find 20-somethings with law and business degrees stocking supermarket shelves.
The article points out an all girls school in Kagdai, Uganda, that is trying to break this cycle. Sponsored by the non-profit Uganda Rural Development Programme the school is choosing to fight poverty by unleashing the potential in 250 of Uganda's poorest girls. The URDT's mission statement says that they wish to give the girls the tools, and encouragement they need in order to become the "creators of their desired circumstances."
To do so the school uses a two-generational approach that helps both the future generation (students) as well as the current generation (parents). So, the daughters team up with their parents and figure out what part of their lives they want to change then with the help of their teachers, together they make that change happen. Whether this is learning to grow enough crops to feed their family, or building a cleaner latrine, the school reminds the girls that they are their own number one resource for change.
Thanks to URDT's encouragement these girls are creating both jobs and change for themselves. As the Christian Science Monitor says, the students are making "yes we can more than just a campaign slogan from a far away land."