vulnerable communities

Vulnerability is associated with poverty and it intensifies in places where people are isolated, insecure and defenseless in the face of economic, political or social risk, shock or stress

Why Vulnerable Communities?


U4C specializes in serving people and communities who have suffered extreme, sustained and multigenerational poverty. The primary focus of our work is in isolated and remote communities which have little or no access to education, healthcare or economic opportunity. Our evidence-informed approach has evolved from being relevant only to socially vulnerable groups and communities located in underdeveloped countries to also being applicable to chronically vulnerable groups in developed urban communities.

Social vulnerability is defined as any single dimension of vulnerability to multiple stressors and shocks, including abuse, social exclusion, and natural hazards. Social vulnerability refers to the inability of people, organizations, and societies to withstand adverse impacts from multiple stressors to which they are exposed. The vulnerability is most often associated with poverty, but it can also arise when people are isolated, insecure and defenseless in the face of risk, shock or stress.

These groups are disadvantaged in ways that cause chronic, extreme poverty. These groups often experience discrimination, social exclusion, and injustice. These groups emerge as perpetual victims of their disabling circumstances.

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.  Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural.  It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.  You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

Nelson Mandela

Latin America and the Caribbean

Despite all the progress in this region, 10 of the 15 most unequal countries in the world are in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a UNDP report.  There are the vulnerable women and men in the region, living on slightly above a $4/day poverty line but risking falling into poverty as soon as a financial, political crisis or natural disaster hits.


The continent has made significant progress socially, politically and economically. However, poverty rates remain high and progress on health, sanitation, and food security has been slow and inconsistent.  Women continue to face limited opportunities in the economic development. Many organizations are working together with governments to ensure sustainable growth.