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The Empowered Girls performing a song from The Empowered Girls performing a song from "Children of Africa."

Celebrating Women Today and Every Day: Part 2

This is part two of our week celebrating the women in our Women’s Empowerment Program, we are especially excited to highlight our work this week, leading up to International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8.

This week we are highlighting the seven countries our Women’s Empowerment Program works in. Each day we will be giving away a small gift from each of the countries with a one-of-a-kind gift being given away on International Women’s Day.

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Tanzania -

In Tanzania we run a program called Empowered Girls. Empowered Girls has girls’ clubs in seven schools teaching topics like self-esteem, confidence, leadership, conflict resolution and study skills. Lessons are reinforced by fun activities like essay contests, fashion shows and singing.

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Girls from four Tanzanian schools wrote and recorded an album called “Watoto wa Afrika,” meaning “Children of Africa,” which was launched during the graduation. The album has songs about the challenges they face as girls, including some real-life situations they encounter. Some songs teach girls about how to resolve problems that come up, while others encourage girls and women to know their rights and to stand up for themselves.

We are offering one of their songs for free download today! Just click the button below to download the song “Enaboishu” — written and performed by girls from the program!

EnaboishuDownload Free Now!


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El Salvador -

Our Mother’s Clubs in El Salvador teach women job skills training — something they’ve never had before — while also providing self-esteem classes and nutrition and hygiene training.

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Mother’s Clubs are helping women, like Maria, who is the mother of Jacqueline, 7, and 1-year-old Marcos. She also watches her nephew, Diego, 2, while her sister works. Maria is learning how to run a poultry farm so she can provide her children with food, a home and a better life.

“My dream is for my children to have a future,” she says with a wide smile. “When they are successful, I will know that I worked hard so they could have a good life.”

Today we are giving away this cool bracelet hand made in El Salvador! Share our Facebook post for a chance to win!

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COMMENT
Program Updates / Women's Empowerment
An employee of one of our Ethiopian Women's Empowerment graduates makes injera to sell to locals. An employee of one of our Ethiopian Women's Empowerment graduates makes injera to sell to locals.

Celebrating Women Today and Every Day

Here at Convoy of Hope, we are extremely thankful for the women in our lives. Mothers, daughters, wives, sisters and friends have helped each of us become the people we are today.

While we are continuously proud to celebrate the women in our Women’s Empowerment Program, we are especially excited to highlight our work this week, leading up to International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8.

We currently have Women’s Empowerment Programs in seven countries including Ethiopia, Tanzania, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Kenya. Through these programs, we aim to facilitate sustainable generation activities and entrepreneurial thinking that equips women to make positive choices for themselves and their families in the areas of health, education and economic welfare.

“Of an estimated 1.3 billion people living in abject poverty, 70 percent of those are women,” says Kara Edson, director of women’s empowerment. “That’s unacceptable. We’re helping women break the cycle of poverty.”

Follow us this week as we take you on a journey to each country where women are being empowered and lives are being changed. Each day we will be giving away a gift directly from the seven countries we are working in. On International Women’s Day, we will be giving away a prize package with a variety of goodies from the countries where we work. So like, share and comment on our posts to enter yourself for a chance to win some awesome gifts from around the world!

Help us say thank you to women all over the world, for what they are doing today and every day.

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Ethiopia -

We are very proud of the progress we have made with our Women’s Empowerment program in Ethiopia. Over the last five years we have been equipping women through micro-enterprise to start and run their own businesses. More than 1,000 women have graduated our Ethiopia program and we have seen an average 240 percent increase in income compared to before the women joined our program.

One of the most exciting things for us is seeing women who have been through our program and now employ other women from their communities. Breaking the cycle of poverty starts with education and someone who believes in you.

In 2013, the Ethiopian government gave Convoy of Hope an award for being “life-changing, corruption free and impactful” in our Women’s Empowerment Program.

Today, we are giving away a pound of Ethiopian coffee from our friends at Brick and Mortar. Ethiopia is known for its amazing coffee. Get a taste of this amazing country!

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Philippines -

In such a beautiful country it’s hard to see so many women struggle to provide food for their children. For the last year, we’ve been working in the Philippines to equip impoverished women with the right education and resources to start and run their own small businesses. Our first graduating class has been doing some amazing things from running shops at the local market to creating a small chicken farm.

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Honeylie was part of our first graduating class and now sells fish at the local market. A year ago, she made only $2.50 a day.  Now, her income is enough to build a new home and keep her four children in school. “My heart is overflowing with joy because now I can help my husband, not just with our bills, but also provide for my kids things that they want,” said Honeylie.

Today we are giving away a miniature Filipino Jeepney! Comment here or on our Facebook post for a chance to win. Winners will be decided at the beginning of next week.

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COMMENT
Program Updates / Women's Empowerment

An inspiration to empower women

In 1969 my parents’ automobile was hit by a drunken driver. My father was killed and my mother was seriously injured. Suddenly, my mother became a single parent and began looking for a job to support the family.

She did not have a college education or formal training. She wanted to care for her children but she found it difficult to find employment that provided adequate compensation. Although I was just a boy, I remember her leaving the house day after day to search for a job. She was determined that her family would not stay on welfare forever.

Finally, she was offered a temporary position which eventually led to full-time employment.  That was one of the greatest moments of her life.

In countries like Ethiopia, Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment Initiative, which teaches women skills to earn and save money through job training, is giving women an opportunity to earn an income that enables them to feed their children. In essence, they are accomplishing what my mother did many years ago.

Many of these women have been abandoned and abused their entire lives. But finally, through Women’s Empowerment, they are being given a chance at a better life.

I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of the businesses these women have started. I wish you could see their smiles and hear their words of gratitude.

Because the women are being taught how to save a portion of their earnings, no longer will they be living in the streets or struggling to make ends meet.  They have new skills and a greater understanding of business principles. As a result, their future is bright.

Thank you for caring and giving so Convoy of Hope can continue to meet the needs of women in places like Ethiopia, Tanzania, El Salvador and more.

COMMENT
From The Founders / Women's Empowerment
Girls in the program are familiar with adversity, as they grew up in traditional Tanzanian settings where women are not always given the same opportunities as men. Girls in the program are familiar with adversity, as they grew up in traditional Tanzanian settings where women are not always given the same opportunities as men.

A Place in Society

On a sunny day in Tanzania, a sense of hope is evident as we meet with Pendo and Zainabu, two teenagers from our Empowered Girls program. They beam as they talk about their new self-confidence and their dreams and aspirations for the future.

Empowered Girls is a program in our Women’s Empowerment Initiative that brings educational programs to schools and communities in East Africa. Sessions include contextually appropriate topics such as self-esteem, gender-based violence, and harmful cultural beliefs and practices. Professionals from the community visit the schools to provide lessons in health, women’s rights, leadership and family planning.

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Pendo, Zainabu and many of the other girls in the program are familiar with adversity, as they grew up in traditional Tanzanian settings where women are not always given the same opportunities as men.

Zainabu, 14, lost her father at the age of five and struggled for many years with grief. She said getting involved in the Empowered Girls program has made a great impact.

“I would hear other people talk about their families and it made me miss mine” says Zainabu as her eyes start to water. “I felt so sad, but when I come here, they encourage me.”

There is a strong emphasis on the future as well. Pendo, 16, hopes to encourage and empower other girls in their community.

“I am a girl,” says Pendo proudly. “And I have a place in society.”

Pendo loves to sing and is a self-proclaimed bookworm.

Zainabu also has big dreams. She plans on becoming a lawyer someday so she can help educate others on women’s rights. When asked about advice she would give other young women, her answer was simple.

“They can do anything,” Zainabu says. “They have to be proud to be girls.”

This year, we have watched more than 1,200 girls develop this sense of pride through the Empowered Girls program.

“They have a lot of potential,” says Daudi Msseemmaa, Africa field operations director. “And potential is a beautiful thing.”

 

COMMENT
Program Updates / Women's Empowerment