Meet Nancy, a member of Ajanyi Young Women’s Group.
Nancy is 23 years old, and because of the conflict she was never able to finish school. Last year she borrowed money from her group, using the micro-finance funds granted to them by African Women Rising, to pay for a course in sewing at the local vocational institute. Today she has a successful business supporting herself and her two young children. The money she borrowed for her education has been paid back in full. Nancy’s next goal is to borrow money to buy one more sewing machine so she can expand the business. If you want to help Nancy and other women like her please donate here.
Micro-finance provides vulnerable women with an opportunity to get access to credit and invest in their future. To date African Women Rising has facilitated access to micro-finance to over 2,300 women. Not only providing the funds but also training classes in basic accounting, record-keeping and business skills. Through our community mobilizers we provide support to the women all the way, from learning how to count, how to make a business plan, how to ensure the business is sound, and guidance and encouragement.
$250 provides a group of 25-30 women with a grant for micro-finance. $2,000 provides training for 30 women.
We had a good start in 2013. Our Functional Adult Literacy Centers, now 11 of them, are beginning the academic year with 330 new students. We are continuing our focus on perma gardens to increase access to food during hunger periods. So far 20 groups (about 500 women) have participated in the trainings. The oxen program experienced a setback last year due to disease, Bovine Pleuropheumonia. There was a district-wide quarantine on buying and selling of animals. Unfortunately, two of our groups lost animals. The quarantine has now been lifted and we bought 12 new oxen in March for three of the groups. The oxen are used for ploughing, helping women prepare more land to grow food. We have seen a doubling in production (and sometimes more) with groups who use oxen. The increased income is most commonly used for paying school fees, access to health care and investments in domestic animals such as goats, pigs and chickens.
We are grateful for your continued support and wish you all a wonderful spring.
Linda and the African Women Rising team.