- Our Role in Empowerment of Women
In many developing countries, women generally work more than men but they are mainly employed in the least paid and most wearisome jobs where they are exploited by bosses that are largely male. However, it has been widely acknowledged that, in the rural areas, small enterprises run by women are more efficient and more innovative than those run by men. This is because traditionally women are more motivated to re-invest profits in new income generating activities while men more often tend to “drink” up their earnings in fast consumption; or “burn” them up in competitive power fights. So, when women take more leadership in local development, we generally see greater prosperity for the whole community, with children and the elderly receiving a larger share of the benefits.
By leveraging on the entrepreneurial capacity of women, it is possible to trigger a process of cultural transformation that allows more women to access skills and education and to become social decision makers. The good news is that a more empowered woman stimulates a virtuous circle of stronger and healthier families, which then set the stage for more prosperous and peaceful communities.
On the contrary, oppressing women and denying them the space and tools for economic empowerment will generate a vicious circle of weaker families that set the stage for poorer and more violent societies.
- Youth and Rural Development
Sustainable rural development programs single out youth as a key target group in as far as out of school decent and productive work is concerned. Village Ventures International aims to achieve quality improvements in traditional apprenticeships in the informal economy, and market driven community-based technical and vocational skills development in rural areas to close the skills gap and equip more young women and men in the informal and rural economy with skills that will improve their employability in more productive and decent work.
- Empowering people with disabilities in rural development
Living in rural areas poses particular challenges for people with disabilities in accessing education, training, and employment opportunities. Dismantling the barriers that rural disabled people face enables them to improve their livelihoods, those of their families, and take an active role in rural economic development. Why action is needed?\
- Disabled people are often left out of rural development strategies and programmes, which leads not only to their exclusion from initiatives but also their marginalization in community decision-making.
- Policies for disability inclusion do not always exist, and where they do exist they are not always
- For example, staff of rural training centres and employment programmes and services may lack the capacity to serve disabled people. Disabled people may also lack access to information about community services and programmes, or about their rights to participate.
- Many rural disabled people have limited or no access to transportation, and rural roads and buildings are often not accessible to those with physical or visual impairments.
- Rural disabled people are largely excluded from existing disability services, such as vocational rehabilitation services, which tend to be located in urban areas.
- Rural schools and training centres are scarce, they lack the necessary assistive devices, and their training approaches are often not geared for diverse learners.
- People with disabilities are often excluded from basic education and therefore do not meet the entry requirements of formal vocational training programmes, such as literacy skills. This affects their chances of finding decent jobs.
- Negative attitudes and stereotypes about the abilities of disabled people emanating from society and sometimes the family can lead to discrimination. Community development schemes often disregard disabled people because of negative, mistaken assumptions about their ability to participate.