Visions Global Empowerment (“Visions”) is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles, CA that aims to change patterns of inequality by supporting educational initiatives for youth affected by conflict, poverty, and disability. They envision a world where all people have access to quality education, feel empowered, and are capable of participating as leaders in today’s society.
Worldwide, millions of children face immense daily hardships that prevent them from accessing a quality education or preparing themselves for a meaningful, educated, and independent life. Since 2003, they have labored tirelessly in creating educational and personal development opportunities that serve community needs and enable youth to improve their own lives and overall wellbeing.
Download “Intro to Visions Global Empowerment“.
Visions Global Empowerment Impact to Date
Visions currently serves communities in the following countries:
- SRI LANKA (Northern & Eastern Provinces; since 2003)
- INDIA (states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, & Union Territory of Pondicherry; since 2008)
- ETHIOPIA (Amhara Region & Addis Ababa; since 2012)
- NICARAGUA (Matagalpa & Jinotega Districts; since 2017)
In India, poverty remains the leading source of educational deprivation among children. Additionally, social hierarchies and gender discrimination prevent many young people from realizing their potential to participate as educated, active citizens in a fast-changing society. And refugee populations that fled the civil conflict in Sri Lanka over the past several decades face a unique set of challenges of their own, including an unclear legal status and various restrictions.
- A new batch of 14 young women from dalit or other low caste (mostly rural) communities headed to university this year. Nearly all of them the first in their families to do so.
- Students who attend the 20 village-based Youth Learning and Empowerment Centres (YLECs) across Tamil Nadu are twice as likely to be at their respective grade proficiency after 1 year of involvement with this program.
- Additionally, 80% report now having the passion / motivation to serve others. 61% report now having a plan for when they graduate secondary school.
- Total student enrollment amongst the participating e-Learning Program schools is up 10.2% over the past 2 years.
Ethiopia is a very low-income, underdeveloped country with a population of more than 103 million, ranking 174th in the world on the Human Development Index. Aside from the many daily struggles faced by millions of Ethiopians, having a disability adds an extra layer of hardship that makes even the most routine activities difficult or impossible. Nationwide there is an extreme lack of services available to the Deaf community in particular. Regular challenges faced by the Deaf in Ethiopia often include the inability to access basic information or services, receive an education, access medical / health care, communicate openly with others, hold a meaningful job or trade, participate in basic community activities because of stigma and discrimination, and so much more.
- Inspired by Vision’s efforts, various local government agencies in Bahir Dar committed to funding the construction of a new Deaf Vocational Training Center. Salaries of 4 professional interpreters to serve the growing population of Deaf students in the city. (The first time any such financial commitment has been made!)
- Over the past 7 years, enrollment of Deaf students is up 650% (jumping from 13 to 85). The number of schools serving Deaf students has increased from 1 to 4.
- Perhaps most importantly, the Deaf preschool is now thriving and continues to grow. Enabling young Deaf students to develop critical cognitive and communication skills before entering formal schooling.
- To-date, 220 individuals have received a hearing test & counseling services by a professional audiologist. 121 individuals have received a hearing aid.
- This year, Visions also introduced listening and introductory speech-language development services at the Visions Model Deafness Center and hired our first 2 part-time Speech Language Pathologist Assistants to carry on this work year-round
With a population of 6.17 million people, Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. It ranks 125th on the Human Development Index with 42.5% of Nicaraguans living at or below the poverty line. That number jumps to a staggering 63.3% when looking specifically at the rural population. Only 56% of youth nationwide who do attend school make it past Grade 5. A mere 17% graduate from secondary school. In rural areas, the statistics are much worse though. A lack of transportation and family/economic pressure to start working & earning an income serve as major barriers to students continuing their studies.
- Among the many demonstrable impacts, the Nicaragua e-Learning Program collaboration with local partner Project Alianza has had over the past year, a few stats stand out:
- 100% of 1st Grade children learned to write
- 75% of 2nd Grade children can now read & write with proficiency
- Attendance at one school has been at nearly 100% for the entire year since starting the program last February 2017
- Visions made incredible progress toward the establishment of our planned residential school for underprivileged girls on a 140-acre coffee farm in Matagalpa. Design plans are being finalized now, and we hope to break ground in the coming months – stay tuned!
Twenty-seven years of conflict in Sri Lanka left millions of young people destitute, without access to jobs, schools, and even basic needs like food and shelter. While the war is now over (having officially come to a close in 2009), a long process of recovery and development continues to burden a society which has lost most of its qualified teachers, schools, leaders, and professionals.
- Visions supported a handful of aspiring young professionals through internships with various local nonprofit partners. Particularly those working to create jobs and innovation in the IT sector such as Vetri Holdings.
- Their Sri Lanka Leadership Program ran for a 7th consecutive year. This time reaching students in 2 new isolated & impoverished communities and providing critical academic support, counseling, mentorship, and leadership training to them.
- Deserving and Marginalized Youth
- The Leaders of Tomorrow
For Volunteer Opportunities, learn more here.