Women are the pillar that holds the society together. The role of women cannot be ignored in our world. Many of us can attest to this. Growing up, we have all watched as the women in our lives work tirelessly to make our lives better starting from our mothers, grandmothers and even older sisters.
‘Women make up half the world’s population and yet represent a staggering 70% of the world’s poor. We live in a world in which women living in poverty face gross inequalities and injustice from birth to death. From poor education to poor nutrition to vulnerable and low pay employment, the sequence of discrimination that a woman may suffer from during her entire life is unacceptable but all too common.’ The Global Poverty Project.
For many years, women have wanted to make a difference in their societies but have been trapped in societies with social cultural practises that continually inhibit them from having equal opportunities at health, livelihood and education. Its’ important to note that this situation ultimately affects their families, communities and countries as a whole.
A woman’s prospect is determined at a very early age. Girls’ education is both an intrinsic right and a critical lever to reaching other development objectives. A young girl who is not able to access basic education due to the circumstances she is born into will face numerous challenges. Her lack of proper basic education will mean that her chances of securing a viable source of income will be very slim. In her mind, starting a family will feel like the best option but it will only extend the existing cycle of poverty to her generation which leads to a lengthy generation of poor households.
In honour of International Women’s day, we wanted to acknowledge and honour the women Micro Enterprise clients of Village HopeCore. These women are extraordinary. They are courageous, strong, resilient, determined and are a perfect example to show that you should not let your past define you but you should rise and try to be better. Their stories are different but they all have one thing in common: They all had a rough start, a hopeless one for that matter. Many had no basic education and most of them resorted to casual labour as a source of income to make ends meet. Most of them were married and had kids at a very young age hoping that that would be a way out of the never ending poverty chain but they were wrong.
Village HopeCore is and was a second chance. It is through Village HopeCore International’s Micro Enterprise Department, which is meant to bring hope and change to women whose lives feel crushed by endless struggles and challenges, that women are given a second chance and the support needed to better their lives and that of their households.
Since its inception 15 years ago, Village HopeCore’s Micro Enterprise team has continued to nurture self-confidence and empower women all over Maara Sub- County. With 75% of our loan clients being women, our Maara women have definitely made progress.
The first ever Micro Enterprise loan group was made of 12 women. These women set an amazing pace for Women in Maara Sub-county who over the years have not disappointed but have continued to follow in their amazing footsteps ever since.
Village HopeCore does this using the three legged stool approach in an all-round transformation effort. The first thing that we choose to transform is their minds through intense training and mentorship since a transformed mind is a great asset. This is because if one believes they are a failure no amount of support can make them a winner. Our micro lending program has provided poor households with access to financial services allowing them to borrow and save in reliable and convenient forms and with the business training and mentorship that they go through for the time they are with us, enables them make wise investments and ultimately improve their income level and reduce poverty levels in their households.
One would ask why women? Research has shown that women empowerment and inclusion is the way to go in ending global poverty. At Village HopeCore, we have seen our approach work. For instance, with a KSH 30,000(USD 300) loan amount awarded to our clients who invest in businesses that they are passionate about and with the support of the micro enterprise team, some have registered up to 300% income increase in their households.
With the increased income, our women have managed to educate their children, provide for their families and improve their home infrastructures. Transformed households make transformed communities and eventually the country itself is transformed for the better.
As village HopeCore, we are so honoured to be part of this women revolution and we are so proud of the progress that our women have made so far and are excited for what’s to come in the near future.
by Micro Enterprise