April 19, 2024

Powering her potential: Results from year 1 of BRAC’s ambitious new program for African youth

BRAC is on track to reach more than a million girls and young women with the youth empowerment program over five years.



After one year of BRAC’s most ambitious program yet, the results are in. Our ambitious partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, Accelerating Impact for Young Women (AIM), will empower more than a million adolescent girls and young women over five years. Explore three big headlines from our progress in year one.


1. 70,000+ young people participated in 660+ AIM clubs. 

AIM clubs, based on BRAC’s proven youth empowerment model, serve as a safe space for adolescent girls and young women. The women meet several times each week with a peer mentor, who supports them as they  socialize, learn life skills, and participate in financial literacy, business, and job skill training. 

During the first year of the five-year program, more than 660 clubs opened across Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda, serving more than 70,000 young people. 

“I didn’t know about family planning before I joined the club,” says one AIM club participant in Singida, Central Tanzania. “I did not know I was underage and had three children. It was difficult to do any work to earn money. I had no one to take care of my little children when I was out working. Two had to stay home with no one to protect them, while I would carry one on my back.”


2. More than 20,000 young women are gaining new skills to increase their income.

Older segments of young women ages 18 to 35 receive expanded training on technical and entrepreneurial skills to prepare them for a job or to start a business. They can also leverage savings and loan services available through BRAC’s microfinance branches.

So far, more than 20,000 young women are equipped with new skills and on track to grow their income. Career training options included climate-smart agriculture, raising livestock, entrepreneurship training to start small businesses, and formal technical and vocational training programs.

41 young women also had the opportunity to train for a career in early childhood education by becoming Play Leaders and running BRAC’s flagship early childhood development centers, Play Labs.


3. Adolescent girls and young women saved more than  $230,000 through savings groups.

Girls ages 15 to 17 in the AIM program have the opportunity to train in income-generating activities that they can pursue part time alongside their education. To help supplement their side hustles, they can participate in savings groups where they learn critical skills like saving and budgeting. 

In AIM’s first year, more than 13,000 young women and girls set up 630 savings groups and collectively saved more than $230,000. More than 26,000 older young women became clients of BRAC’s microfinance programs and received financial literacy training.

One borrower expressed how training and loans she gained through an AIM club helped boost her small business and send her kids to school:

“My business of selling vegetables wasn’t doing well,” explains 32-year-old Pendo Lawrence, a small business owner and mother of two in Tanzania. “The club taught me budgeting and saving. I took a loan of $78 to pay my rent and grow my business. I added more products—tomatoes, onions, salt, and soap. I sold enough to pay back my loan, and I took out a new loan that helped me pay my children’s school fees and run my business.” 


Ambitious AIMs for the next year

In 2024, teams will continue to support the girls and young women who recently graduated from the AIM program. We will do our best to support them as they build their careers. 

Staff are also launching AIM clubs in Rwanda, and expanding them across our four existing countries, with a goal of reaching nearly 300,000 young people in 2024.

Discover more accomplishments from the past year and exciting updates for the year ahead in our new report on the first year of AIM.


Sarah Allen is Communications Manager at BRAC USA.