Tag: International Women’s Day

We seek to break down barriers that hold women back — in places like Tanzania — from reaching their full potential by educating and equipping them to make good decisions and lead self-sufficient lives. We seek to break down barriers that hold women back — in places like Tanzania — from reaching their full potential by educating and equipping them to make good decisions and lead self-sufficient lives.

Breaking the cycle of extreme poverty

 

More than 3,300 women from seven countries have participated in Convoy’s Micro+ program since 2011. This economic empowerment initiative works with women living in extreme poverty and provides materials and training for income-generating activities, life skills coaching, weekly food support, access to savings accounts, and health and nutrition education.

As with all of our international work, we actively monitor and evaluate these projects: The results have been remarkable. A pilot project conducted in the Philippines in 2015 revealed 100% of the participants reported an increase in income and 90% reported a decrease in hunger in their household. That’s why we’re so passionate about projects like Micro+: They enable us to address the underlying issues that will end poverty and hunger in the long run.

In addition to our own evaluations, current research of what works in the global fight against poverty and hunger shows significant positive results. A recent article in Science from Innovations in Poverty Action (IPA)**, a research group at Yale University, also validates our approach with Micro+.

The researchers used a randomized evaluation — similar to medical studies — to test the effect of projects on 10,000 households in six different countries (two of which COH works in). The objective was to give extremely poor families a significant boost out of poverty over a short amount of time. The results showed significant increases in food security, household consumption, physical and mental health, and women’s empowerment. Families continued to see substantial benefits two and three years after the start of the program, meaning they are beginning to break the cycle of poverty.

We are continuing to invest in Micro+ and women’s economic empowerment because we’ve seen the positive results in our own work, and because the approach is being validated through studies by leading academic researchers. Micro+ is lifting women and households out of poverty, which means many families are now able to provide necessary meals for their children. Addressing the root of hunger requires a holistic approach — every investment is making a difference.

**footnote: A multifaceted program causes lasting progress for the very poor: Evidence from six countries. Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Nathanael Goldberg, Dean Karlan, Robert Osei, William Parienté, Jeremy Shapiro, Bram Thuysbaert, and Christopher Udry. Science 15 May 2015: 348 (6236)

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Program Updates / Women's Empowerment
In Ethiopia some of our women's businesses have grown to the size where they have their own employees! In Ethiopia some of our women's businesses have grown to the size where they have their own employees!

International Women’s Day: Empowering Women and Changing Families

Just a hand up. Sometimes that’s all a person needs to rise out of a poverty and feel like they’ve finally made it. A simple hand up can mean the difference between a success story and a life lived in despair. And that’s what we’re here to help provide: a hand up to families who need it.

Our Women’s Empowerment Initiative began five years ago, and was birthed out of a desire in our hearts to change the circumstances of women who were marginalized in society, with no hope of ever becoming more. Many we saw were homeless, with no job skills or income, and no way to provide food or shelter for their children.

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We wanted to help women like Murida, who was forced onto the streets when she could no longer afford her house when her husband left her and their four children. With no income or formal training for employment, she survived on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She tied a long scarf to herself and around her children at night so they wouldn’t be kidnapped while they slept.

For 14 years she lived this way — but her life, and her children’s lives, have changed now.

Murida was chosen to enter our Ethiopia Micro+ program and was trained on how to make and market “njera,” a staple Ethiopian food. After her training, she was given seed capital to start her business. Today, her children are living in a home, with no threat of being kidnapped when night falls on Addis Ababa.

Because she’s able to provide for herself and she’s running a successful business, Murida couldn’t be happier. “To have someone look me in the eyes and to feel their care,” she says, “I know I am human and worth something.”

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

On this International Women’s Day, we will continue to provide a hand up to women and families who need it all over the world — because we want every woman to know, like Murida, that they’re worth more than they ever thought.

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In honor of International Women’s Day we are giving away this beautiful hand made bracelet engraved with the seven countries where we are striving to change the lives of women. Comment on this blog or share our Facebook post for a chance to win!

 

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Program Updates / Women's Empowerment
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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Kenya – 

Kenya is the most recent addition to our Women’s Empowerment Program. Our first graduating class passed through the program near the end of 2014 and have now received seed capitol for starting their own businesses!

We are excited to see how these women’s economic opportunities improve as they continue to work on growing small businesses.

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We believe providing a women with economic freedom makes them more secure and confident of their intrinsic worth and value to their homes and communities.

Today we are excited to give away these beautiful hand printed Convoy of Hope leather notebooks from Kenya! One is an iPad holder and the other is a notebook holder. Share either of our Facebook posts for a chance to win!

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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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Program Updates / Women's Empowerment