Supporting Women to Change Their World
70% of the world’s poor are women. 900 million women live on less than 1 dollar a day.
And yet when a woman has access to literacy, training and healthcare, she can transform from being the face of poverty to being the face of change.
This year Bishops’ Appeal is focusing on supporting projects which enable women to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. By educating a woman, she is three times less likely to contract HIV. She will earn 25% more income and will raise a smaller, healthier family. She will invest 90% of her income and learning in to her family as opposed to 30-40% for a man.
Examples of such projects, subject to funding, are laid out below.
Literacy and Numeracy Project, Mothers’ Union, Burundi.
This was supported in 2012 and continues to address the most basic needs of men and women throughoutBurundi. Once they can read a newspaper, they can go on to learning basic savings and accountancy. They can save with a small group and take out loans to help them expand a small business, such as the selling of palm oil or fruit. Then, they have access to cash if a child falls ill or a roof caves in and they have more security than when they were completely dependent upon a small plot of land where they grew what they ate. The literacy programme also provides basic development discussion and participants learn about the importance of sending their own children to school as well as basic hygiene and sanitation in the home and household budgeting. Due to the grassroots nature of the programme (run through the MU but voluntary facilitators), it costs a mere €30 to educate one adult and 59,000 adults have been accredited to date.
Rehabilitation of Trafficked Women. Tearfund, Mumbai, India.
This project will support women and children who are being sexually exploited and have been trafficked or are at risk of being trafficked. Through education, alternative livelihoods training, ongoing counseling and support, such as the provision of safe houses and continual support when integrating back into the community, these women and children can radically transform their circumstances and have the opportunity for a secure future. The cost of education for one participant is €24 for a year.
Micro-financing, Christian Aid, Ethiopia
As Christian Aid partners continue to support communities in the Horn of Africa to recover from drought and to become drought and famine resistant in the future, one focus is on increasing food production, but also on training in order to diversify their sources of income. Christian Aid local partner, Women’s Support Association (WSA) facilitates self-help groups and micro-credit schemes that enables women to be active agents in securing their homes and communities against any future calamities. Contributions as little as €4.60 can buy a chicken for a woman in a self-help group. She will, in time, give 25% of this into the saving scheme allowing savings and loans to continue.
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