Browsing Category: Women’s Empowerment

Makena Goes To The Market

Makena starts her day at the Ewuaso Market in her home country of Kenya. Metal saucepans reflect the beams of sunlight peeking through the shade trees above as neatly packaged bowls, cups, and cooking utensils line tables at her quiet corner store. She laughs and smiles with friends from the community.

But Makena knows struggle.

Just eight months ago, she was staying at home to care for seven of her 10 children. Barely able to provide enough food for her family, she was in desperate need of a second chance. A second chance — like the one she found in Convoy of Hope’s Micro+ program. 

Since completing Micro+, Makena started her own business to provide for her large family. Now, instead of staying home, Makena sells household goods and kitchenware at three weekly markets.

While a lot has changed for Makena and her family, one change stands out the most. “Now there’s plenty of food,” she says with a smile. 

Your kindness has helped break the chains of poverty for Makena and her family. Thank you for empowering women like Makena and providing second chances to families around the world.

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Women's Empowerment

International Day of the Girl – Empowering girls with Convoy of Hope

Melanie,* like many other 13-year-old Nicaraguan girls, wrestles with personal identity in an ocean of images and voices telling her who she “should” be. When she learned that a Convoy of Hope program to empower girls was not only coming to her school but that she was personally being invited to participate, she couldn’t contain her excitement.

Melanie wasn’t simply seeking to feel better about herself. She wanted to flourish. And that’s exactly what she experienced through loving leaders and courageous peers in the program. Over a series of weeks, she found herself exchanging insecurity for confidence and timidity for boldness. Like so many, Melanie is moving from survivability to sustainability! 

As we celebrate International Day of the Girl, Convoy of Hope is proud to join other organizations and groups around the world in empowering girls to realize their value. International Day of the Girl seeks to educate the public on the hardships girls face around the world every day — issues like child marriage, unplanned pregnancy, education inequality, gender-based violence, lack of self-esteem, and personal hygiene. 

Our program to empower girls began in 2010 with a single after-school club at a secondary school in Tanzania where girls were dropping out of school due to pregnancy. Key stakeholders from the community were invited to share their thoughts regarding a range of topics through educational seminars and interactive discussions. 

Since that first group, the program has expanded and evolved. We have established programs in five countries: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Kenya, and the Philippines. Each country has curriculum specific to the needs and issues pertaining to girls in their programs. Sessions can include culturally contextual appropriate topics around self-esteem, gender-based violence, and harmful cultural beliefs and practices. 

Regardless of location, our program provides them with tools and resources to set goals and achieve dreams. We teach these young women that they can have a future where finishing school, going to a university, and starting a career are possibilities, regardless of their circumstances. 

Over the past 25 years, Convoy of Hope has been dedicated to not only feeding the world, but helping individuals and communities thrive. Today, and every day, let’s celebrate girls and empower them to see their dreams become a reality. 

You can learn more about how Convoy is empowering girls at convoyofhope.org/we.

 

 

*Name has been changed.

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Women's Empowerment

Don’t be Chai

In a dusty village near the border of Tanzania and Kenya, government workers and ruby miners start their busy day. The bustling market comes alive with traders and local people, and Adimu works diligently to prepare her restaurant for the day’s rush. Each utensil finds its home in an assigned cupboard or drawer. Her new chairs and tile floors offer a welcoming glow as the sun pours through the restaurant’s long yellow curtains.

It hasn’t always been this way for Adimu. Not long ago, she was selling tomatoes at her local market and making less than $1 a day. She and her children lived in a different community, and she struggled to provide for them. When Adimu’s daughter received a partial scholarship to attend primary school in a different district, Adimu knew she had to make it work.

Shortly after moving, Anna got involved in Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program. After completing her training, she was given the opportunity to run her own restaurant. Every day, she works hard preparing meals and chai for the customers at her restaurant while her children attend school. Now that Adimu has a steady income, she can afford to feed her children three times a day and pay for their schooling.

“I am amazed at the favor I have in this community,” she says.

As the sun continues to scorch the earth during the relentless dry season, women begin to line up outside Adimu’s restaurant. Before, this group struggled for hours every day to find clean water. Now they fill their cans and water bottles with the water rushing from the faucet outside of Adimu’s business.

As other women in her Tanzanian community continue to search for the chance at a better life, Adimu’s restaurant stands as a reminder — hope is never far away.
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Women's Empowerment

Empowerment for women, hope for the future — Sitota’s story

When Sitota found out she was pregnant, her whole world changed. Her boyfriend was adamant that they not keep the baby, but Sitota wanted her child and refused to get an abortion. This lead to her and her son living on the streets.  

“Usually during the nighttime I’d stay with a stick since some drunks or some people come and pee on us,” Sitota says of her time on the streets. “Some, they try to rape me. My child didn’t get proper food for one year and it hampered his growth.”

Though life was hard, Sitota saw her son as a source of strength, living each day with the hope of a better future for the two of them.

Soon Sitota was introduced to Convoy of Hope, where she entered into the Women’s Empowerment program in Ethiopia. Through this program, Sitota received training — how to prepare food, how to start a business, how to calculate profit and loss — and received startup capital to open her own business. Thanks to the Women’s Empowerment program, Sitota was able to open her own shop selling coffee and tea.

“Because of my business, I was able to start saving money for a new house. It has two bedrooms,” Sitota says. “Now I’m very happy with my life. I can support myself and my child.”

Since the beginning of Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment in 2010, nearly 17,000 women around the world have been empowered through the program! Starting in Ethiopia, Women’s Empowerment is now in nine countries, including Nepal and Lebanon which were added in 2018.

Just like Sitota, Convoy of Hope believes every woman deserves the opportunity to thrive and be successful. Learn more about how you can support the empowerment of women like Sitota at convoy.org/women.

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Women's Empowerment

3 ways you can help Convoy of Hope empower women

Last week we saw incredible support for women on International Women’s Day. We at Convoy of Hope believe that when women are given strength and dignity, it not only impacts their families, but their entire communities as well. This is why we empower women each day to make strategic, independent life choices — and we want your help!

Women in developing countries often lack the education, opportunity and confidence to support themselves and their families. With your support, Convoy of Hope can help train women in necessary nutrition, health and everyday skills, and even help them to start their own business.

Here are 3 ways you can help empower women with Convoy of Hope:

1. Spread the word as an advocate

Being an advocate is one of the easiest ways to make an impact! Just by talking about the women who need support and raising awareness for their situation, you are supporting them. This can be as easy as telling a friend about the Women’s Empowerment program over coffee or sharing a woman’s story with a post on Facebook.

2. Throw a party

A Party2Empower is a party with a purpose! Gather your friends and neighbors to learn about some of the women who’s lives were changed through Women’s Empowerment, while enjoying activities themed from their stories. Not only is this a good way to spread the word, but it is a great opportunity to get your friends actively involved in this great cause. Learn more about throwing your own party to empower at convoy.org/women.

3. Donate

Whether its a one-time gift or a monthly commitment, your donation goes to significantly impact a woman’s life. A one-time gift of $25 would sponsor a girl in our Empowered Girls Program — helping her to attend weekly meetings where she would learn about topics like health, hygiene and harmful cultural practices, as well as helping her finish school and pursue job opportunities. A recurring monthly gift of $25 for a year would provide seed capital for a woman to start her own business. You can donate online at convoy.org/donate/IWD.

Learn more about how you can get involved with Convoy’s Women’s Empowerment program at convoy.org/women.

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Join the Convoy / Women's Empowerment