Salwa Sarhi of Yemen has been working in the development field for 10 years. “I have always been interested in community development from a young age,” she says. By age 17, she had published articles and short stories about social and development challenges in her country.
Salwa, a sustainable development advisor, supports women’s empowerment and learning and provides guidance on policy and programs for enhancing the corporate social responsibility programs of the oil company TOTAL.
Helping people and making a positive difference, even at a small scale, is what motivates Salwa. “One can get overwhelmed easily looking at the huge development challenges Yemen faces today. However, it’s important to keep the focus and determination to stay strong and reach out to support and help when we can,” Salwa says.
Salwa’s main focus in Yemen is lowering the childhood illiteracy rate. According to a UNDP report, illiteracy rates in Yemen in 2009 were 21.6 percent in young people between the age of 15 and 24, and 45.3 percent for the total pop