One of the biggest challenges facing women in developing nations is the ability to work – and work safely – with children under their care. The guarantee of free K-12 education that we enjoy in the U.S. is a distant dream for most in developing nations, trapping families – and particularly women – in a cycle of poverty. With children at home, women struggle to get a job or start a business that will move them and their families out of poverty.
Women’s cooperatives around the globe are helping to break this cycle of poverty by providing a safe place for women to use their many talents to generate income for their families. The most successful co-op ventures include a learning environment for the budding entrepreneurs’ children.
This summer, we have the opportunity to change the lives of countless women and children – and provide a life-changing experience for own children...and ourselves. Please join me and my daughter Anya in El Salvador, where we will install a high tech learning lab in a rural women’s cooperative and get to know the women and their children who are boldly moving their lives forward.
Our journey begins on Monday, August 18, when we travel to San Salvador, which will be our “home base.” Each day, we will travel the country in a safe motorcoach, in association with President-elect Salvador Sánchez Cerén, the First Lady, and the Education Minister.
Our children will put the finishing touches on the new computer lab – we have already arranged for the computers to be donated by Hewlett Packard (who manufactures computers in El Salvador) – in advance of a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday. We will have ample opportunity to visit the women and their children, deepening our awareness – young and old – of life beyond the privilege of the U.S. With world-famous beaches nearby, we have packed in some fun “play time” as well so our kids have a chance to “get their sillies out.”
Participating children and adults have raised funds in advance of the trip to pay for project expenses and something that our kids take for granted – but is an unimaginable luxury in rural El Salvador: laptop computers and internet access for the cooperative’s computer lab!
Click here to give a donation and help Empower the Americas