There is an Organization called "Compassion International" that reaches out and finds children who are surviving in the worst of their situation. What they do is teach and educate these children on how to take care of themselves. They basically teach them healthy, life survival skills. Since Compassion cannot teach everyone, they usually choose one child from each family or neighborhood (who is sponsored for $30 a month by people like you and me) and then those children will go home and share the knowledge that they are learning with their family and friends so they too can make the changes.
I think there is a lot of value in this system and it can be a powerful tool to implement in these communities that need more financial empowerment.
If you start with one person and teach them basic financial skills, that one person can go on to share this knowledge with their family and peers, directly and indirectly. I think this can also be very powerful because, people are most open to listen to, and be influenced by, their own peers who are surviving/living under the same circumstances. If you can teach, plant, and spread seeds amongst the population that needs it, others will directly be affected in one way or another. People watch people and are drawn to those who are positively changing .
Like sponsoring a child for hygiene and health skills, Sponsor an adult in one of these communities that needs financial empowerment so that they can learn and gain skills that will financially empower them. I think a lot of people struggling actually work VERY hard -- they are just lacking the understanding of necessary life skills to properly save and spend. For them, they reach a point of helplessness and hopelessness, falling into a lifestyle of poor financial repetition and passing those habits on to next generations.
If they could just be reached and shown some skills, one person at a time, they will be encouraged and excited, pouring out what is being poured into them. That one person will be an example to their family and friends, spreading their knowledge through their community, and starting generational change.