Programs & Impact

How we make a difference

Four Core Programs

Designed bottom-up, through an iterative process with participant input and feedback

Beads-to-Business

The girls learn to make high quality jewelry and can use this skill as the foundation for setting up and managing their own small businesses. The curriculum tackles concepts such as budgeting, inventory management, product development, marketing, branding, and financing.

Mentorship

During Emerge Mentorship sessions, girls are paired with adult role models who cover a curriculum on topics such as body image, childcare, mental health, social responsibility, goal-setting and more. 

Life Skills

The Life Skills program teaches girls about goal setting, reproductive health, job readiness, money management, communication, crisis management, and community engagement. The curriculum includes outside speakers, demonstrative activities, and journal entries.
 

Reintegration

Our new Emerge Center provides a residential empowerment program for young women as they transition from Emerge programs in shelters into their independent, adult lives. Emerge also supports  this transition by connecting young women to a variety of local resources and service providers, providing general support and check-ins, and hosting annual alumnae reunions. 

What Makes Emerge Programming Unique?

  • Self-paced curriculum – Accommodates different learning backgrounds and paces; ideal for working in shelters where participants enter at different times
  • Trauma-informed – Focuses on developing a safe and supportive environment, developing optimism and resiliency, and healing through art-therapy
  • Emphasis on peer-to-peer learning – Reinforces skills, develops confidence and leadership, accommodates different learning backgrounds by having girls who are further in the program mentor girls who are newer to the program
  • Foundational learning, not vocational training– Lays a foundation for the girls to pursue their own goals, rather than defining the trade they should learn
  • Develops safe financial capital – Girls generate their own capital, eliminating the risk that comes with micro-credit for a population that’s vulnerable to trafficking and the sex trade

Testimonials

Program Impact

Heal. Empower. Emerge.

To date, Emerge has worked with over 450 girls from across Sri Lanka. Every Rs. 100 invested into a girl’s materials helps her generate more than Rs. 380 in savings. Some girls have made more than Rs. 190,000 (~$1500) within a year of participating in Emerge’s program. Girls have used this money to finance businesses, finance additional education, take care of children, pay for medical support, and even build homes (check out one of our alumna’s homes that she built with her savings to the left!).

Much of our impact is harder to measure but is just as important: Girls who entered our program too broken to speak are now comfortable sharing their ideas; Participants have expressed increased confidence and self-worth; Through their Community Fund, participants have collectively identified communal challenges and worked together to change them; and, participants have shared their knowledge with community members after leaving Emerge programs.

Statistics from Our 2014 Reunion

Every year, we gather alumnae together for a reunion to build skills, maintain our community, and track their progress. Here are some statistics from our latest reunion.

83% of girls believed they can change their communities
92% of girls knew how to make a budget
83% of girls remembered how to get their National ID Card
100% knew how to set goals and felt they could achieve the goals they set for their futures
692
Girls have gone through our programs to date
16%
OF INCOMING PARTICIPANTS SAY THEY CAN AFFECT CHANGE IN THEIR COMMUNITIES...
77%
OF GIRLS LEAVING EMERGE PROGRAMS SAY THEY CAN AFFECT CHANGE IN THEIR COMMUNITIES
$125K+
IN JEWELRY SALES SO FAR, DIRECTLY SUPPORTING THE GIRLS' EDUCATION AND FUTURE FINANCIAL FOUNDATION

Words from Our Alumnae

“An unexpected event changed my life one day. My fate was changed in a way that I never thought it would. It left me at my lowest, heart broken and lonely. At that time, when I was without any help, feeling sad, it was the beading workshop that helped ease my pain and loneliness and helped me make up my mind and console myself. The satisfaction I feel in combining beautiful colors, designing and completing a beautiful necklace or bracelet is hard to describe in words. These workshops have helped me succeed in life and face life as a successful human being to this day. I thank the people who helped me and guided me through this difficult time. Now as my career, I have dedicated myself to teach girls that have faced the same challenges as me. I do it with immense happiness.”

Emerge alumna, age 21

“My life had taken a very unexpected turn and I was very sad about it. I felt trapped between four walls, cramped in a building, alone among people I didn’t know. I couldn’t imagine how long I would have to stay like that, sad and hurt. It was during these days of helplessness that the Emerge team came into my life. My life changed with their arrival. They taught us how to string beads to make a necklace. This was a simple thing but it made a vast difference in our lives, because we could generate savings by making these necklaces. They opened bank accounts for us and deposited our savings in them, which we could access once we become 18 years old. This is a tremendous service to us.”

Emerge alumna, age 20