Crossroads International volunteers work with local partners to strengthen collective enterprises and small businesses led by women and youth. Poverty and unemployment disproportionately affects women and youth. Africa has the fastest-growing and most youthful population in the world. Through economic initiatives such as soap making, small animal husbandry, bee keeping and market gardening, women and youth are earning a sustainable income. As a result, many are increasing food security for themselves and their communities and gaining leadership skills. Investing in economic empowerment of women and youth is investing in poverty-eradication and economic growth for all.
Why this program
Traditional norms and discriminatory practices restrict African women’s access to land and decent jobs
1,300 female entrepreneurs in Senegal diversified their products and developed their skills in sustainable soap production
1,500 Senegalese women garden market farmers in the Niayes region are improving their access to water and adopting innovative farming practices to become more resilient to climate change and diversifying their activities
100 Togolese youth learned integrated farming techniques, which increased and diversified their production
“I am so happy and grateful to SWIFT, they made me feel positive about the things I am doing. They made me to keep the hope that I had lost for a long time.” Phephile Hlophe, small entrepreneur trained on business development by local partner Swaziland Fair Trade (SWIFT).