Louise Guido, CEO of the The Foundation for Social Change, is helping women and girls across the world be all they can be.
Foundation for Social Change partners with the United Nations to foster an environment whereby private enterprise can turn social responsibility into business opportunity. The foundation convenes important stakeholders for the annual United Nations Global Conference for Social Change and the Women & Girls Education Summit and teaches women and girls financial empowerment through the eLife – Economic Opportunity education program focusing on life, communication, business, technology and entrepreneurship skills.
eLife is a 12-week after-school education program in drug-ridden Barranquilla, Colombia, in partnership with Shakira’s Fundacion Pies Descalzos, funded by SAP and Mrs. Cheryl Wyly. It teaches life and business skills for practical application, including getting a job or how to start a business. It all begins with the idea that there is a “possibility,” and bridges the gap between basic education and the next level of employment or job creation.
Here’s what Louise says about eLife and why it’s such an invaluable program:
The results from eLife in Barranquilla, Colombia, proved that when teaching life and business skills together, girls realize they can take control of their lives, be responsible and have clear goals for their future.
- 97% say they know how to make rationale decisions, solve problems and resolve conflict
- 87% say they they have an idea for a business in their community – and have the confidence to do it after receiving our training.
- High retention rate – Of the 170 that started, 157 finished, 92% completed program
- Unexpected outcomes – Discovered that the girls had problems (abuse, drugs) at home that they were able to share in the eLife program, and the school was able to get them help
- Higher grades in day classes – Girls had better attendance, were more engaged and had significantly better grades in their regular day classes
- Practical training – In addition to teaching them how to dream about a goal, eLife gives them the practical skills to implement, such as how to create a business or apply for a job – and has had a significant impact on the community
“There is no doubt that eLife made a difference in the lives of 154 girls, a school of 1,700 and a community of 20,000,” Louise said. “We will now expand it to three more Pies Descalzos schools in Colombia (Bogota, Quibdo and again in Barranquilla), and add an ‘income generation’ program for the mothers who have small businesses.”
“The value of eLife – as a program that offers a practical and integrated approach to core teaching – is proven,” Louise continued. “eLife is possible anywhere in the world – with any demographic – any literacy level – and for any outcome that drives economic empowerment and education.”
Watch the video below to learn more about eLife:
For more Giving Back on genConnect:
- Sam Wyly’s Favorite Cause: The Salvation Army
- Webby Awards Founder Tiffany Shlain’s Favorite Organization
- Craig Newmark: How Nonprofits Use Social Media
- Carolyn Everson: What She Learned at Free the Children Kenya
- Marcus Samuelsson: The UNICEF Tap Project (VIDEO)
Want more genConnect?
- For more daily expert updates, follow genConnect on Twitter and Facebook.
- To stay on top of Louise Guido’s latest posts, as well as contributions from other experts on the site: Sign Up for genConnect.
Share with us your thoughts in the comments box below.