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Caring for the developmental needs of children is essential for long term community development. Severe economic conditions and a lack of educational opportunities result in:
- Nearly 220 million children under the age of 12 working long hours in mining, factories, agriculture, and other activities that threaten a child's health and future
- Over 15 million children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS, requiring many to fend for their siblings by working under brutal conditions
- Ten million children trapped in slavery, trafficking, prostitution, military service, and other horrid forms of child labor
- One billion illiterate people across the world.
The lack of opportunity for children to develop in a nourishing environment is rooted in poverty and its cultural manifestations. Desperate families need their children to produce immediate income and the subsequent denial of education creates a cycle that traps families in poverty. Proper schooling is prohibitively expensive or inaccessible to much of the developing world due to a lack of government support. Education is also undervalued in many parts of the world, particularly for young girls because there is little immediate return.
The Foundation for Sustainable Development works to counteract the effects of poverty on youth development and education so that our partner communities can sustain growth from one generation to the next. We recognize that caring for youth and providing academic and vocational tools allow them to be contributing members of their communities. Without sufficient support, children and their families cannot overcome the abusive cycle of poverty and exploitation.
We work with over 70 community-based organizations to provide an array of services to marginalized children of all ages and the families that struggle to raise them. These include: building schools; teaching, tutoring, and vocational training; childcare for a network of orphanages and centers; support for families suffering extreme hardship; emergency services for children suffering from abuse or neglect; social activities such as soccer and basketball; educational workshops on relevant social topics; and much more.
We rely on interns, volunteers, and donors to supply the human and financial resources necessary to supply our partner communities with the tools they need to properly care for and educate their children. Read about our Community Partners to learn more about Youth Education & Development programs and opportunities in the field with FSD.
For a description of the Youth Education & Development opportunities available in each country, click on the links below: