2nd Global Summit for Youth
Boca del Río, Veracruz
Norman Bellino, FAO Representative
Interagency Programme for the
Empowerment of Adolescent Women
in El Salvador
5 October, 2004
Description of Project
• The purpose is to assist adolescent young women in El Salvador.
• This project was developed in collaboration with four other UN
agencies (WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP), due to the high
levels of sexual abuse and violence and poverty after the 12year civil war (ending in 1992) and the 2001 earthquake.
FAO’s role is to train and organize village groups to implement
non-traditional income-generating activities.
A comprehensive youth development approach is used to enable
adolescent young women gain the necessary skills, knowledge
and experience they need to develop agricultural production
projects and non-farm, rural-based small enterprises.
This three-year project is just beginning.
The education and training component incorporates
life skills development and emphasizes hands-on,
• The project includes five mayor components:
Building community support systems;
Education and training;
Village youth group organization; and
Production projects leading to income-generation.
• FAO has organized groups, which will receive a grant of a maximum
of US $ 8,000 to start income-generating activities.
• Each village youth group must prepare a proposal (business plan)
identifying the activity they would like to pursue; costs and expected
returns; and market perspectives.
• Based on a field trip to the National Agricultural School, one
group of girls decided to raise quail eggs and the other to
purchase milk from a local dairy producer to make and sell
What are the results?
• 13 pilot communities in El Salvador, all single mothers, range in
age from 13 to 18 years, are being benefited with a grant to
start income-generating activities.
• YES Framework for Action: This project involves at least 5 Es:
Employability, Employment Creation, Equity, Entrepreneurship
• A formal agreement is signed between the National Centre for
Agricultural Technology and Forestry (CENTA) to provide
general support to the formation and maintenance of the village
youth groups, as well as technical assistance for the production
• In areas where CENTA does not operate, NGOs have
been identified to provide this same level of support.
Challenges and lessons learnt
• Even though youth make up a large segment of the
total rural population, they are largely neglected by
government policy makers and intentional development
• Resources invested in programmes, projects and
activities for youth, such as this example, have both
immediate and long term benefits in helping young
people become active, productive and contributing
citizen of their respective countries.