Wall of voices
Ansa – Boutique owner from Pakistan
I am Ansa Farooq. I came to the EYW Innovation Hub in Bedari to learn how to become a computer operator in the army, against my parents’ fears of stigma for being a girl. In the trainings, I built my self-confidence and refined my goals. I ended up opening a boutique selling clothes and handcrafted artifacts, and was the first woman to have a stall in my local market. I faced many negative comments from my family at first, but I know that if I had stayed at home, I wouldn’t have achieved anything.
Marlina – Teacher from Indonesia
I am Marlina, a teacher from Maros, South Sulawesi. As youth, the challenge we face is gender inequality in work. The EYW program in our area has been an opportunity for us, especially young women. The GALS methodology opens our minds and helps us set our targets on the future, expressed through drawing. At the Youth Hub, my friends and I create our action plans together using GALS. Hopefully, youth can work together in the future to develop their village potential.
Aisha – Farmer from Ethiopia
I am Aisha Tola from Kararo Kebeke in Oromia region. I cultivate tomatoes and know the whole process well, from planting to harvesting. I learned this from coming together with other youth in a cooperative organized by EYW partner RCWDO. This enables us to make a living and gives us shared responsibility, improving our mental well-being. I find my work very inspiring and I want to encourage other young people to come visit and learn from my experience. So I encourage women like me to take part in business.
Sumi – Tailor from Bangladesh
Sumi Akter was married off to her cousin when she was just 15. When they separated because of his violent behavior, she returned to her parents in Rangasree Union, Barishal district. At first, her future looked bleak. But thanks to her own hard work and support from EYW, Sumi is now a successful entrepreneur. She describes her journey to independence.
Mehwish – Teacher from Pakistan
I am Mehwish from Jamshoro. My biggest dream was to support my father, but our community had a lot of negative feedback about a young woman working. Still, my father gave me permission to open a tutoring center, where I teach 20 to 25 children since schools closed due to COVID-19. I also run a small tea shop at home to generate more income. This way, I was able to earn my father’s trust and support.
Tahir – Baker from Ethiopia
Tahir Mohammoud Wereseme grew up in a rural neighborhood near the Ethiopia–Somaliland border town of Tog-Wejale. Previously a livestock herder who struggled to make ends meet, the 27-year-old father of two now runs a thriving bakery and shopping cooperative.
A women’s enterprise from Bangladesh
Six young women from Bakerganj sub-district in the Barishal district are trying their luck in a group business. Despite having very different backgrounds and circumstances, they are united by the same goal. All want to become entrepreneurs, financially independent and an asset to their families.
Saif – Social entrepreneur from Pakistan
I am Saif Ali and I am a social entrepreneur from Sindh. After seeing the bad accommodation conditions for university students, I decided to start my own hostel. I received trainings at the EYW Youth Hub in Jamshoro on communications, farming and micro-businesses, which really helped me out with my business. My wish is to provide sound accommodation with a healthy environment, and to promote our Youth Hub’s ‘Clean & Green’ campaign by planting 1 million trees across our province.
Anab – Cafe owner from Ethiopia
Before they got involved in EYW, Anab Farah Buoh and her friends were facing long-term unemployment. Today they run a thriving café in Erer town in Somali region. Anab describes how the project gave them hope, skills and self-belief.
Selina – Student from Bangladesh
I am Selina Parvin. I am a student from Ovirampur, Rangpur. When my parents stopped paying my school fees after I refused to get married, I started working as a private tutor to pay them myself. I received the EYW soft and life skills training and after noticing my skills, they took me on as a trainer. Now people treat me as a teacher. This makes my family proud of me, and their smiles make me happy. I want to inspire other village youth to develop themselves and become independent like me.
Tahira – Artist from Pakistan
I am Tahira, and soon I will be attending art classes at the Innovation Hub in Jamshoro. Art creation is life—whatever people think of, they work on it and form their objectives around it. Through the EYW program, I accessed many new opportunities. I learned a lot and improved my communication skills. One of my visions is to be a vlogger, even though our community has a lot of issues with girls appearing outside and online—but if I don’t do something challenging, how am I supposed to learn?
Abdella – Woodworker from Ethiopia
I am Abdella from Arsi Negelle in Oromia region. After completing school, I became unemployed and was confined to my home. I was grateful when RCWDO identified unemployed youth in my region and helped us find work in different fields. I chose furniture-making and took up an apprenticeship with a firm, where I learned a lot. I even furnished my home with the furniture I made. In the future, I wish to have my own furniture business where I can employ several youth.
Rehima – Cafe owner from Ethiopia
I am Rehima from Oromia region. After facing abusive employment in Dubai and returning home, my parents did not allow me to look for work locally as a young woman. It was a difficult period for me. When I took part in a life skills training run by EYW partner RCWDO, this motivated me to change my life. So I started my own café in the village market. My family and the community have witnessed my success, and I am proud to have become a role model for young women.