Fundacion Cruzada Argentina (FCA)
Context: In rural northeastern Argentina, poverty, malnutrition, and unemployment are widespread. Many families live off government subsidies, few are engaged in waged labor, and others do temporary work or are self-employed. Educational opportunities in this part of the country are quite limited and those that exist are of low quality. Many rural youth are unable to attend high school because of the distance, cost and lack of public transportation. Youth who do complete secondary school are ill-equipped to continue their studies or enter the labor market. There is a need among rural youth for practical training in skills that will enable them to earn an income in the rural economy.
Organization: Founded in 2002, Fundación Cruzada Argentina (FCA) supports rural communities in 3 provinces of northeastern Argentina through work related to education, youth and labor inclusion. In addition to providing basic material assistance for primary schools, FCA has a secondary school strengthening program that works in partnership with students, teachers, administrators, and parents to establish sustainable school-based programs in entrepreneurship and employability. Teachers and students are trained in the planning and management of productive micro-enterprises which provided youth with practical tools for better employability. FCA works with 16 agro-technical schools in rural areas to provide youth with the opportunity to continue their education while gaining practical skills such as carpentry and welding that can be used in the rural economy.
Current Grant: With EMpower’s third grant, FCA will conduct a strategic planning exercise with 2 agro-technical secondary schools to develop and pilot-test a deepened approach that will be replicated regionally. FCA’s goal is to develop a local rural development strategy with the schools and the surrounding communities. This exercise will consist of three phases: 1) conducting a needs assessment; 2) defining the key goals, objectives, and activities for the next three years; 3) starting to implement the activities identified in phase two. FCA’s goal is to develop a deepened approach that will strengthen all 16 of the agro-technical schools it works with.