Women at the Forefront of Climate Impacts

Climate change has emerged as one of the most pressing and urgent issues of our time, especially impacting farming communities and smallholder families. Rising temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns are far-reaching, creating uncertainty and risk for farmers, leading to lower yields, reduced incomes, and broader social and economic implications. Among those most vulnerable to these effects are women, who face limited access to resources, decision-making power, and social protection.

However, despite their vulnerability, women also hold immense potential as key contributors to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Empowered with the necessary resources and tools from an early age, they can unlock their full capacities and become climate action entrepreneurs. This not only benefits the environment but also contributes to the economic and social development of their communities.

Elda Avalo’s Empowering Journey as a Climate Action Leader

Elda Avalo’s story is a shining example of such empowerment. Her transformation from an underestimated, shy, young girl to an empowered leader in Ocotepeque, Honduras, is a testament to the impact of empowering women in climate action.

As a young woman with four older siblings, Elda grew up accustomed to being overlooked. However, facing intensifying social, economic, and environmental issues as a smallholder, she recognized the need to address these challenges. Fueled by this realization, she committed to shaping the shifting dynamics and participated in the Climate Pioneer Approach. Her path took a remarkable turn when she graduated as a Climate Pioneer.

Through comprehensive training, Elda developed her skills in life, business, and climate resilience. She then chose to specialize as both an extension agent and entrepreneur. Today, Elda not only manages her family’s farm finances but also leads her farmer organization’s youth committee, providing climate adaptation and agricultural training to her peers. Not stopping there, Elda also runs her own tailor shop, creating custom clothing and alterations for customers in her small town.

Elda’s journey exemplifies the power of equal opportunities and shared prosperity. Her advocacy tirelessly promoted the empowerment of young women, inspiring them to embrace their potential, lead with resilience, and contribute to building a brighter and more sustainable future for all.

Unleashing Potential: Empowering Women as Climate Actors through Education and Resources

However, Elda’s story is just one example of the transformative impact of empowering women as climate action entrepreneurs in coffee regions. Approaches like “Climate Pioneers” in Central America recognize the significance of female participation and actively foster the involvement of youth women in catalyzing climate action. In Honduras and Guatemala, Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) is training over 140 youth to become Climate Pioneers, empowering both male and female youth to unleash their potential and position them as drivers of change. Here, youth are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to catalyze climate action, effectively tackle climate-related challenges, and promote the establishment of resilient production systems in their communities and farmer organizations. This approach ensures their pivotal role in shaping sustainable and resilient communities, creating a positive and lasting impact in coffee regions.

The journey towards empowering youth as Climate Pioneers entails a comprehensive 70-hour training program that covers essential life skills, professional development, and climate change resilience. Elda successfully honed her soft skills and expanded her abilities in areas such as financial management, problem-solving, climate-smart agriculture, and the use of tools and technology. She further pursued her interest and received additional training to become an extension agent and entrepreneur. Through this process, she emerged as an empowered and skilled young woman, equipped to lead positive change within her community.

Elda, along with numerous other young women in coffee regions, exemplifies the potential for transformative change when women have access to resources, skills, and opportunities. Empowered women like Elda will leave a lasting impact in the global fight against climate change.