Monday, September 2, 2013
Celebrating Labor Day: Work as Privilege
In a just world, education would be a universal right – so would the ability to earn a living wage.
What drives EdPowerment’s commitment to educating underserved teens is not learning for learning’s sake – it’s giving these young people a chance to earn a living.
On a macro level, we have all read about the developing world's “youth bulge” – the disproportionately high percentage of population between the ages of 15 and 29. According to the CIA World Factbook, the median age of Tanzanians is 17.8 years.
Consider this commentary from a recent World Bank blog:
In a country with a youth bulge, as the young adults enter the working age, the country’s dependency ratio-- that is, the ratio of the non-working age population to the working age population—will decline. If the increase in the number of working age individuals can be fully employed in productive activities... the level of average income per capita should increase as a result... However, if a large cohort of young people cannot find employment and earn satisfactory income, the youth bulge will become a demographic bomb, because a large mass of frustrated youth is likely to become a potential source of social and political instability.
Without prospects for a productive life, young people become prey to destructive forces who promote negative and even terrorist activity. Through its sponsored student program and the Kilimahewa Education Center, EdPowerment enables promising young adults to labor productively in ways that build, rather than tear down a global community.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor today. And remember those who simply seek work.