Sustainable Livelihoods

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Claudia, 19, lives in the central highlands of Guatemala and has been sponsored since she was five.

Helping families provide for their children and achieve sustainable livelihoods

All parents want to give their children a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, warm clothes. We want our children to be safe and healthy, to get an education, to grow up financially stable, to have a good life. It’s deep-rooted, the desire to give our children a better chance than perhaps we had.

One of the ways we work to create a world where children achieve their potential is by helping families develop the skills to become financially self-sufficient.

Providing for a family can be so much tougher in some countries than others. In many places where paid work is almost impossible to find, it may be necessary to create one’s own livelihood. For one mother, Mekiya, that meant starting her own business baking injera, the traditional Ethiopian flatbread.  




ChildFund helps families and young people secure sustainable livelihoods. Our economic development work spans all the stages of children’s lives.


We focus on helping parents generate income to provide for themselves and their children.

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Village and Savings Loans provide ways for people to come together and save money, creating a pool they can later borrow from to jumpstart or maintain new businesses and community programs — or to prepare for emergencies.

Microenterprise programs, such as the one Mekiya of Ethiopia participated in, help people gain entrepreneurial skills to form their own small businesses. Training covers a broad spectrum to enhance success: market research to determine local needs, business plan development, small-scale loans known as microloans for start-ups and expansions, and ongoing mentoring support.


ChildFund helps instill financial awareness and nurture future entrepreneurship, while at the same time inspiring children to believe in themselves.

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Aflatoun is a curriculum we use for school-aged children. Developed in India, this social and financial education program teaches children to practice saving and to start business enterprises, in addition to building self-confidence and knowledge of their rights.  


ChildFund’s youth employment programs help prepare them for an uncertain and extremely tight job market

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ChildFund developed a comprehensive Youth Employment Model, which we use around the world. It includes five parts: market research, technical skills training, business and entrepreneurial training, ongoing mentoring and coaching, and, importantly, a social component that builds soft skills in communication and conflict resolution.

Through local organizations in countries around the world, ChildFund works to help families and children succeed. Economic strengthening bolsters a wide network of supportive programs — from early childhood learning centers to parenting classes to health and sanitation initiative, to scholarships, and on and on. In all of our work, ChildFund aims to help families and young people create a better future for themselves — and the world.