This project will use eMentoring relationships to promote the social and economic empowerment of disadvantaged young women from impoverished communities in Recife, Brazil. Through eMentoring, young women at risk develop the behaviors and networks necessary to remove themselves from exploitive situations. They learn to make positive and healthy choices enabling viable economic alternatives for their personal independence.
While Brazil has recently experienced economic growth, young people who have grown up in poverty are excluded from this new economy. In the Northeast of Brazil the situation for young women is especially severe. Pernambuco, for example, has one of the highest rates of violence against women and the tourist industry creates conditions that increases sexual exploitation. It is essencial that young women be the focus of efforts to enable them to create more positive futures.
Experience in Brazil and elsewhere shows that eMentoring is one of the best ways to rapidly enable youth, especially disadvantaged youth, to gain skills, behaviors and perceptions important to successful transition to a productive adulthood. Mentors play a critical role as models of success and act as guides to new futures. We will use eMentoring to create long-term meaningful relationships between volunteer professionals and young women at-risk participating in local social development projects
Through eMentoring, young women move beyond their restricted environments to gain new knowledge, attitudes and skills for their social and economic advancement. They acquire perspective on the meaning of poverty among young women and the political policies that determine their futures in Brazil. Mentors also gain insights and a deep feeling of satisfaction that comes from helping young people improve their skills. By changing both sides of the equation, we can enable sustainable social change.