Youth & Education

african students in front of chalk board

Winrock International invests in the well-being of children and young adults to promote a well-informed civil society and economic growth. By preparing today’s youth — many of whom live in poverty without access to education and basic services — with information, skills and knowledge, Winrock is enabling them to achieve their own potential as citizens able to advance their communities and countries. Programs target scholarships and education, harmful labor practices, and exploitation of children and youth.

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For more than two decades, Winrock has been a leader in creating educational opportunities for children and youth, especially girls and boys at the margins of society. Our programs offer a variety of support — scholarships, mentoring, life skills training, literacy and numeracy training, community support, and policy advocacy. Where children and youth are out of school, we work on multiple levels to ensure that children can be safely withdrawn from child labor, human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, and other forms of abuse.

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When wars end and nations begin to rebuild, children are often faced with a battle on another front – the effects of conflict on their safety and education. The trauma of insecurity and displacement can have a severe impact on children’s ability to learn and cope with the demands of the classroom. This is particularly true for girls and children with disabilities.

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In many parts of the world, school can be a place of danger for both boys and girls. The disadvantages experienced by girls are particularly severe: they may face the threat of sexual violence and abuse on the way to or in school; a lack of adequate and safely accessible sanitary facilities; and the risk of early or forced marriage, which can cut short their education.

A student at an event celebrating International Literacy Day holds a sign reading, 'Kick illiteracy out of South Sudan.'

The boy stood at the microphone reading the story of two kids and a lost ball. Confidence amplified his words as he loudly and clearly enunciated every word.

Relishing the moment—with an audience captivated by the performance—Samuel Pitia David seemed energized by the buzzing crowd as they laughed at the humor in the story and the earnest way he emphasized each element.

The Room to Learn South Sudan project is working to offer safe access to quality education for children and youth, with a special focus on increasing access for the most disadvantaged groups—including girls, the disabled, pastoralists, internally displaced persons and others suffering from poor quality, disrupted or unsafe education (if they have access at all). The program uses a community-based approach to rapidly reach out-of-school and marginalized children and youth with an emphasis on early grade literacy, gender equity and conflict mitigation.

The Room to Learn South Sudan project is working to offer safe access to quality education for children and youth, with a special focus on increasing access for the most disadvantaged groups—including girls, the disabled, pastoralists, internally displaced persons and others suffering from poor quality, disrupted or unsafe education (if they have access at all). The program uses a community-based approach to rapidly reach out-of-school and marginalized children and youth with an emphasis on early grade literacy, gender equity and conflict mitigation.

The Promoting Sustainable Practices to Eradicate Child Labor in Tobacco (PROSPER) program aims to protect and withdraw children of all ages from child labor in the tobacco-growing sector. The program addresses both the social and economic factors that drive smallholder tobacco farmers to employ children in hazardous work and those that compel children to seek such work.

The Empowering Cocoa Households with Opportunities and Education Solutions (ECHOES) project offers cocoa producing families basic and vocational education with a focus on modern cocoa growing techniques.

The Building Responsibility for the Delivery of Government Services (BRIDGE) project works with local groups and government agencies to improve their ability to work effectively with the communities they serve in the states of Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, Unity, Jonglei, and to a limited extent, the Upper Nile.

In the March 2014 Executive Insights, Devex profiled Winrock President & CEO Rodney Ferguson. The article focuses on his transition from a business background to leading an international NGO. Ferguson discusses his first year at Winrock and shares his vision for the future.

PROSPER (Promoting Sustainable Practices to Eradicate Child Labour in Tobacco) is a four-and-a-half-year program designed to complement efforts by the government, employers, workers, and civil society organizations in fighting child labor in the tobacco-growing sector in Tanzania. The program is funded by the Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Foundation (ECLT).

This presentation summarizes the numerous issues surrounding child labor and how Winrock is addressing those issues.

This publication is a distillation of best practices drawn from the more than 100 projects funded through CIRCLE I and II, aimed to inform and inspire individuals and organizations working to end the labor exploitation of children, to promote educational opportunities for all children, and to support their personal and social development through a fulfilled, safe and happy childhood. CIRCLE was funded by the United States Department of Labor/Bureau of International Labor Affairs/Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (USDOL/ILAB/OCFT) Child Labor Education Initiative.

After a summary of Winrock’s history and current role, this issue illustrates how Winrock is fulfilling its mission of “working with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources.” Featured success stories include creating an environment in Nepal where girls can realize their full potential, elevating food productivity and incomes in Bangladesh, and increasing opportunities in rural Guatemala through sustainable energy.

16 Days logo

For more than two decades, Winrock has been a leader in creating educational opportunities for children and youth, especially girls and boys at the margins of society. Our programs offer a variety of support — scholarships, mentoring, life skills training, literacy and numeracy training, community support, and policy advocacy. Where children and youth are out of school, we work on multiple levels to ensure that children can be safely withdrawn from child labor, human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, and other forms of abuse.

16 Days logo

When wars end and nations begin to rebuild, children are often faced with a battle on another front – the effects of conflict on their safety and education. The trauma of insecurity and displacement can have a severe impact on children’s ability to learn and cope with the demands of the classroom. This is particularly true for girls and children with disabilities.

16 Days logo

In many parts of the world, school can be a place of danger for both boys and girls. The disadvantages experienced by girls are particularly severe: they may face the threat of sexual violence and abuse on the way to or in school; a lack of adequate and safely accessible sanitary facilities; and the risk of early or forced marriage, which can cut short their education.

A student at an event celebrating International Literacy Day holds a sign reading, 'Kick illiteracy out of South Sudan.'

The boy stood at the microphone reading the story of two kids and a lost ball. Confidence amplified his words as he loudly and clearly enunciated every word.

Relishing the moment—with an audience captivated by the performance—Samuel Pitia David seemed energized by the buzzing crowd as they laughed at the humor in the story and the earnest way he emphasized each element.

Participants, with guidance from Winrock staff, identify resources on the map build during the community engagement activities in Kapoeta South, Eastern Equatorial State.

At the start of the 2015 school year, the Room to Learn South Sudan (RtL) project began community activities for the first time in three states and four counties to empower community members improve school conditions and identify gaps that the project can help address. Using a participatory approach, RtL county teams work with community members to identify existing human and material resources, networks, and past experiences that can be put to use in support of education.