Why Boys Matter Too

I’m often asked why her? Why women? Does this mean you don’t work with men?

So let me quickly set the record straight. (There will definitely be more blog posts about this too!) We absolutely work with men. We think that empowered men will empower the women around them and we love that! But we also know that research shows that when you invest in women in the developing world your “return on investment” is far greater. But this doesn’t mean we forget and neglect the men, they too must be empowered!

My heart is actually stuck with a little boy in the Dominican Republic named Alfredo. We first met in June and I melted. His smile and his gentle demeanor just grabbed me. My Spanish is far from spectacular so I really only know his name and that he is 10 years old, but there was something in his eyes and in his joking with me that made our connection real. It was so fun to see this young boy getting to be just that – a fun and playful kid! Before the water system had been placed in Villa Hermosa, that is not what I would have seen. I would have seen children sick and weak, unable to thrive.

When I came back in July, he ran up to me and threw his arms around my waist. It was such a special moment to be back with him. Love at second site! I have so much hope for his future. I have so much hope that he will be a man who is empowered, who works hard, and who provides for his family. I have hope that he will be healthy and strong and a man that is kind and loving.

So just as I am all for empowering these women, I am all for empowering men and boys. If I can see who Alfredo is in 10 years – a young man with a bright future – then The Her Initiative has succeeded for both women and men!  -Kayla Fruchtman

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