Youth Empowerment

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The Yugoslavian Wars of 1991-2001 were based on national and ethnic tensions that resulted in numerous cases of gender-based violence, including mass rapes of women and sexual abuse against men and boys in prison camps. Currently, an emerging culture of violence is visible in the Western Balkans and the consequences of violence within the family and the community severely affects the development and health of young men and young women.

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Jacqueline Ntunzwenimana, 21, is a seamstress who operates her business out of her home in Musaga, Burundi. Jacqueline was able to start her business with a loan she acquired through her solidarity group's microfinance activities as part of CARE's ISHAKA program.

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The Power to Lead Alliance (PTLA) aimed to create, strengthen, and scale-up diverse leadership opportunities for girls in six countries [Egypt, Honduras, India, Malawi, Tanzania, and Yemen] through extra-curricular activities, social networks, and civic action.

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Naomi lives in central Malawi. Here we say women like Naomi are born with a "man’s heart." She overcame much adversity in her life and uses that horrible situation to inspire others around her.

Born in Zimbabwe as Elle Tina, she was the third of seven children. At 15, Naomi was raped and became pregnant with her son, Wally. She later changed her name to Naomi, inspired by Naomi in the Bible who also faced troubles but overcame them through courage.

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I come from Panriang County of Unity State in South Sudan, an area that is rich of oil and where, in fact, about 50 percent of our oil reserves get explored. In 1987, when I was in my early teenage years, I joined the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/ Movement (SPLM/A). At that time, a lot of innocent Sudanese civilians particularly from Southern Sudan suffered from years of attacks on their villages, bombings and fighting. I grew up in a country that had already experienced two decades of war – conflict was all I knew.

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