When Samuel’s parents died, he resorted to stealing to help feed his younger siblings. When Chance lost his parents, he had to feed his siblings animal scraps to survive. When Frida’s parents died, she dropped out of school and worked in the fields for $1 a day to help keep her siblings in school.*
Like Samuel, Chance and Frida, 380 million children around the world are trapped in a cycle of poverty. Many are orphans and vulnerable children who are abused, sick and isolated from their communities.
To end this grueling cycle, Zoe Empowers, a global nonprofit, identifies and empowers children to improve all areas of their lives through three-year programs that offer training, support and a vision for the future. The nonprofit relies on advanced analytics to measure the success of its programs.
Today, Samuel and Chance own a thriving woodworking business, and Frida is a hairstylist. All three are providing for their families, mentoring orphans who are in similar situations and thriving in all areas of their lives.
They accomplished these successes on their own with help and support from Zoe Empowers.
Analytics shows progress
Zoe Empowers is an empowerment ministry for orphaned and vulnerable children living in life-threatening poverty in Africa and India. Through its work, young participants move from the hopelessness of crushing poverty to meeting their needs across eight major life areas:
- Food security
- Secure housing
- Child rights
- Income generation
- Community connections
- Spiritual strength
Thousands of children have their own version of Samuel’s, Chance’s and Frida’s stories – but the work doesn’t stop there. Beyond qualitative measures and triumphant stories in the face of adversity, Zoe Empowers needed a way to quantify their program’s success. That’s where SAS comes in.
Through advanced analytics, Zoe Empowers is able to measure the results of the empowerment program for orphaned and vulnerable children through gathering and analyzing data drawn directly from program participants across those eight areas of intervention.
Learn more about how SAS is using data for good
From preventing life-threatening illnesses to protecting endangered species to rebuilding after natural disasters, organizations across the globe are harnessing data to make a difference.
The results are reported as a self-sufficiency index, which not only shows program participants how far they’ve come, but also helps Zoe Empowers improve its programs and share results with donors. Plus, the program is now eligible for more grants and funds that require strict reporting on results.
“Zoe Empowers equips orphans with tools and training to overcome life-threatening poverty,” says Gaston Warner, CEO. “When we needed to showcase the effectiveness of the empowerment model solution, SAS helped to develop and conduct a systematic program analysis. Now, the organization can show specific outcomes in each intervention area that can be used to improve the program and demonstrate measurable results with partners.”
Through these efforts, the same children who once lacked basic life necessities with no hope of tomorrow have transformed into socially, economically and spiritually strong entrepreneurs.
“What we really want to know is that at the end of three years, are these orphaned and vulnerable children truly sustainably self-sufficient across every area of life? And SAS allowed us to dream about a self-sufficiency index,” says Warner.
Not only does analytics lead to new and creative ways to address global issues, but it helps Warner and others get one step closer to solving them.
Zoe Empowers has grown to a current enrollment of over 50,000 orphans and vulnerable children in the three-year empowerment program across seven countries and three continents. Another 60,000 have already graduated. Each new country program brings further innovations and lessons that are folded into the empowerment model.
“This year, we’ll have over 50,000 orphans and vulnerable children enrolled in the three-year program,” explains Warner. “And each one of those children will not only be able to care for themselves and their own siblings, but they’re reaching out to the community as employers to assist and sometimes adopt additional orphans.”
With help from SAS, Zoe Empowers finally found a way to measure and reveal its incredible impact. Surveys collected from 495 graduates of Zoe Empowerment groups in Kenya and Rwanda showed the impressive results you see in the infographic here, demonstrating that graduates go on to own businesses, eat three meals a day and further assist community members.
The results are in line with Zoe Empowers’ vision of a world where all orphans and vulnerable children become secure, healthy, connected, and able to care for themselves and their siblings. A simple great idea paired with cutting-edge analytics is the driving factor that’s bringing millions of children lasting sustainable change.
“My work with Zoe Empowers has been the greatest privilege of my life, bar none,” says Warner. “It is incredible to see orphaned and vulnerable children who are living on the edge of life be able to band together so that they’re not socially isolated. And then actually find their confidence, their gifts and their skills so they can apply those not only for their own family but in giving back to others.”
- How does one of the largest cities in the world use data for social good? From data privacy to data quality, what are the challenges in using data for social good, and how does one large organization in New York City address them? Hear from a research scientist at the Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence about the data they have, the questions they ask of it, and the data they’d like to see in the future.
- How researchers are fighting cancer with analyticsThanks partly to analytics, cancer survival rates are higher, treatments are more personalized and cancer research continues to expand.
- Exploring the sun with big dataResearchers working for NASA are using automatic, exploratory and visual analysis of big data to help understand the mysteries of our universe.