The support from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation will provide young participants with a six-month paid work experience accompanied by a one-year parallel learning program that will strengthen their social and emotional skills and financial skills. Upon completion, participants will become part of a youth network, through which they can access lifelong learning, professional certifications, cultural and recreational opportunities, and personal and professional development. This direct investment in young people from neighborhoods plagued by poverty and violence aims to reduce stigma, provide opportunities and increase young people’s sense of belonging, leadership and pride in their communities. Glasswing implements this initiative in partnership with four other local organizations in each country that have decades of grassroots experience with young people and families.
“Too many young people in central America have few good options to improve their lives other than joining a criminal gang or taking huge risks to migrate to United States,” noted Howard G. Buffet, Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. “We should invest in these young people and help them create better opportunities in their home communities. If we can show success with this model, our Foundation is committed to providing further assistance $36 million to develop the program.
The challenges facing young people in central America are huge and growing. Along with the devastation and recovery from the 2020 hurricanes, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to two years of school closures, dragging millions of children into central America academic delay and school dropout.
“Many of the participants in this program will help address education challenges, including providing learning support for young children, as well as supporting public health and environmental initiatives,” said Celina de Sola, co-founder and president of Glasswing International. “We are grateful to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation for making this initiative possible by being the sole donor of this innovative pilot project that seeks to create better opportunities and a better future for young people in Central America.”
More than 1,300 young men and women are already enrolled in the pilot project, which will train and engage more than 2,800 participants in its first year alone. Pending the results of this initial investment, the Foundation hopes to expand the program to more than 10,000 young people in the region.
About the Howard G. Buffett Foundation
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is a private family foundation working to catalyze transformational change to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the world’s poorest and marginalized people.
About Glasswing International
Glasswing International was founded in El Salvador in 2007 to provide innovative, local solutions to address the region’s health and education challenges. They are now working in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador and Trinidad and Tobago. They have impacted over 1.5 million lives in the region through their mission to address the root causes and consequences of violence and poverty by empowering youth and local communities through programs of education and health.
SOURCE Glasswing International