The Dominican Republic has one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, yet its employers are struggling to find qualified applicants for jobs such as software development and nursing. Furthermore, young people between the ages of 15 and 24 face high unemployment rates.
One of the first things I learned as a probation/parole officer was that even when a person completes their sentence, it doesn’t always mean that their punishment is over. I served as a probation/parole officer for seven years, and I saw firsthand the lasting stigma of being involved with the justice system.
Around the world, more than 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Living rooms have transformed into classrooms. Lesson plans have gone virtual. What are the challenges that parents, students and teachers are facing as they suddenly shift to remote learning? How have, and how will, the adaptations that school systems are making to continue operating during a pandemic shape education in Africa in the future?
While the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, imagine you are a young person just out of jail, on parole or dropped out of high school. You are determined to get a new start on your life, and you are focused on getting the education and workforce skills you need to move from surviving to thriving. You already have a steep hill to climb. And then, the pandemic hits and everything becomes more complicated.
What are the systems, trends and ideas that are shaping education in the United States? What needs to be done to promote transformative education reform?
In this episode of A Deeper Look podcast, I speak with education reformer Dr. Warren Simmons, currently Senior Policy Advisor at the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. We draw parallels between the challenges in education reform in the United States and in low-income countries, including how inadequate funding models can perpetuate a cycle of poverty and how successful programs can be difficult to scale and replicate. We also discuss the power of local voices and community organizing and the importance of making our education systems more culturally responsive. Dr. Simmons highlights the need for cross-sector partnerships in order to achieve lasting reform and discusses how schools and communities must work together to adapt to the future.
The Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe women (DREAMS) partnership aspires to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries. These countries alone accounted for more than half of the HIV infections that occurred among adolescent girls and young women globally in 2015.
DREAMS reaches beyond the health sector to address the direct and indirect factors that increase girls’ HIV risk, such as poverty, gender inequality, sexual violence and inadequate education. Interventions can include paying school fees, providing bicycles to girls who would otherwise walk long distances to school, supplying sanitary napkins for menstrual hygiene management and offering mentoring to help girls avoid early pregnancy, gender-based violence and discrimination. DREAMS is supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences and ViiV Healthcare.
Two young women who participate in DREAMS projects attended FHI 360’s 2018 Gender 360 Summit and discussed how DREAMS is making a difference in their lives. Here are their stories.