FairMail’s first social impact measurement

Posted at 18 March 2014

yomira werk vroegerFairMail was set up in 2006 to bring photos with an original perspective into the market but – more importantly – to accomplish our social mission: 

“to give at-risk teenagers the opportunity to create a better future for themselves”.

But how much impact did we create in our seven years of operation? And what did the teenagers accomplish with their earnings?

“Earning while learning”

In 2013 the 50 teenage photographers earned 20.530 euro to invest in their own education, their families’ housing and medical care. The top earners in Peru and India were Yomira and Sandhya with 1.419 and 1.801 euro respectively. Yeah girl power! In second place came Elmer and Dhiraj with 1.226 and 1.306 euro each.

FairMail dropout rate is much lower than national average

Anshu in school uniform


Anshu in school uniform

These earnings are crucial for the teenagers to be able to fulfill their dreamed future plans. But money alone is no guarantee as success also depends on their perseverance, family situation and motivation for FairMail.

Due to a mix of these reasons, 20% of the teenagers who started FairMail did not make it to the retirement age of 19 years old. These 10 teenagers either lost motivation along the way, were drawn back into problems by “old friends” or faced such big personal problems that they could not continue with FairMail.

86% of all the kids that started FairMail either finished or are still in secondary school. Not bad considering the background of the teenagers FairMail works with. Also if you compare the percentage to the national average of 52% of all Indian teenagers that makes it to tenth grade (or 65% of all children in Peru finishing high school).

87% of FairMail teenagers continue learning after finishing high school

Yuli in front of her university

Yuli in front of her university

Of those FairMail teenagers who finished high school during their time with FairMail 40% has continued on to (pre-) university. 47% of them have continued with a vocational training.

Only 13% decided not to continue studying at all after finishing high school. This either due to not finishing high school in the first place or because they didn’t have enough earnings in their funds after finishing FairMail.

78% of “retired” FairMail teenagers have broken the chain of poverty

Akaash invested his earnings in his bike repair shop

Akaash invested his earnings in his bike repair shop

At this moment 68% of the FairMail teenagers are still studying something. Of those not studying anymore 55% has a decent job (varying from tourism to construction to sales). 23% has his or her own business or is self-employed (varying from producing soccer balls to photography to mechanic). This way they have broken the chain of poverty and can start building a family that will provide much better opportunities for their children then the families where they grew up in. (8% of the ex-FairMail teenagers already have kids of their own!)

Not all is success though. Still 22% is either unemployed or has a marginalized or an unstable job (varying from carrying groceries on the market to being in jail). 4 out of 5 teenagers who are in this situation happen to be teenagers that didn’t finish the FairMail program until the age of 19. This only shows the importance of FairMail’s long term approach and guidance.

Cinthia graduating

Cinthia graduating

Tags: Dhiraj, Education, Elmer, Impact, Results, Sandhya, Social impact, Yomira

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