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April 2013

Why Empowering Girls Is Key to Ending Poverty

Ravi Kumar's picture

Sokha, a skinny orphan girl in Cambodia used to pick through garbage to survive. But thanks to series of events, she was able to enroll in school and excel. Her tale is one of the nine inspiring stories in Girl Rising, a documentary that aims to raise awareness about the plight of girls in the developing world.

On April 18, Girl Rising was screened at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. in an event to give a greater momentum to girls’ education and empowerment. President Jim Yong Kim, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Justine Greening, Secretary of State, International Development, UK, Holly Gordon, Executive Producer of Girl Rising, Frieda Pinto, an actress and Shabana Basij-Rasikh, Founder of SOLA, an organization hoping to expand education and leadership opportunities for Afghan women shared their thoughts on need of girls’ empowerment.

Watch the recap of the event:

Being Young and Eager to Work on Making Policies: A Few Inspiring Examples

Liviane Urquiza's picture

Some prejudices are universal. Whether it is in Europe, in South America, East or South Asia, in urban or rural areas, pretty much everywhere I have been I heard young people explain why they disliked politics, either because it is boring or for they believed all politicians were corrupted. Did they – did you ? – ever wonder what the world would be like if there were no policies, and no policy makers? Think about it.

Making policies is not about seating at a desk, writing reports and chatting with bureaucrats. It’s about making tangible positive changes apply to all.

Youth Financial Services: Changing the mindset

Also available in: Français | Español | العربية

With an estimated 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24, the vast majority of them living in developing countries, youth are both a policy and political priority for many countries around the world.

An increasing number of governments are turning to youth financial services. Access to financial services—savings, payments, credit and insurance—can help young people to build assets, protect themselves against risk, and it can unlock economic potential. Yet, the World Bank’s Global Financial Inclusion Database (Findex shows that youth are 33 percent less likely to own a bank account than an adult.

Last week we asked you for questions to put to policy makers gathered at a CGAP event in Paris to discuss what can be done to improve opportunities for youth through financial services. This video shows policy makers’ responding to the question: “Why youth financial services?”

Brussels: Diving into the Heart of Development Policies

Liviane Urquiza's picture

Available in Español, Français

I just returned from Brussels where I met five very determined individuals. Whether an entrepreneur, a doctoral student, a ministerial chief of staff, or the head of a community organization in the slums of Nairobi, these five young people have one common goal: to fight for a more just future. And to achieve this goal, they have chosen to use both their talent and their determination to intensify the pace of social progress in their country.

Benedetta Mwongeli Kyengo (Kenya), Bruce Dube (South Africa), Crystal Fiallo (Dominican Republic), and María de los Ángeles Lasa and Alexis Estevez (Argentina) were guests of the World Bank at the Brussels Forum.

Click on the slideshow below for their portraits

The schedule for the trip was packed. No sooner had they been introduced than they had to set off for their first major meeting...