Tag: 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

The Extra Mile

Smoke and dust twist together lazily on the Honduran road that marks the frontline of poverty for this community. Birds call quietly back and forth to each other over the low rumble of heavy machinery in the distance. On one side of the road is a small, two-room schoolhouse, and on the other a towering hill holding back a mountainous expanse of garbage.

In 2016, six-year-old Ana had a choice to make every day: she could dig for recyclables to sell so she could eat, or she could go to school and learn. Hunger won out a majority of the time, and she regularly spent her days combing through the dump looking for things to sell.

“One day, Ana’s mother sent her to school, thinking that we would feed her,” said Principal Katherine Mejia. “It was a Monday, so Ana hadn’t eaten all weekend.”

Weakened by hunger, Ana stumbled to school and dropped into her chair. Ana struggled to concentrate on her lessons as her eyes glazed over. Without warning, she tumbled onto the concrete floor.

Ana was not the only child struggling with hunger at the school. Many came every day with an empty belly. “That was very hard for us, but it was impossible to provide [for them],” said Principal Mejia.

Ana’s case is not uncommon for kids in struggling schools around the world. Soon after Ana’s incident, Convoy of Hope began delivering food to her school. Since then, Ana’s situation has changed dramatically. “Before, when she was hungry, she was super shy. She didn’t talk and stared at the floor,” said Mejia. “So we can see her health is progressing [slowly with proper nutrition], but it’s a long road ahead.”

“Before she can start to learn, she needs to be healthy.”

In 2018, Convoy of Hope reached a milestone goal — feeding 200,000 children throughout the world — two years ahead of the 2020 target.

“The goal Convoy of Hope set in 2016 was a lofty one,” says Convoy of Hope President Hal Donaldson. “At the time, 160,000 children were a part of our Children’s Feeding initiative. Reaching 200,000 seemed like an achievable goal, but one that would certainly take until 2020 to reach.”

The increase of nearly 23,000 children in one year is a direct result of the community surrounding Convoy of Hope. We’ve never been content with the status quo, and we choose to partner with those who feel the same way. Rapid strides in both meal donations and financial support fueled Convoy’s ability to grow and has brought us to where we are today.

Today, Convoy of Hope is operating in 1,131 program centers around the world. In 2018, we began Children’s Feeding interventions in Sri Lanka, India, and Uganda while continuing our work in 11 other countries, including El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Haiti, South Africa, Nepal, and Lebanon.

In addition to leveraging these strategic feeding initiatives, Convoy of Hope has also established complementary interventions in many program countries to foster thriving communities. In 2018, more than 6,400 individuals were engaged in our Agriculture initiative, and more than 6,700 women joined our Women’s Empowerment program.

“We strategically feed children in schools to strengthen our relationship with each community and empower broader impact through families,” says Heath Adamson, Convoy of Hope’s Chief of Staff. “This milestone represents hundreds of communities and thousands of individuals who know their value. Compassion not only makes a difference — it makes the difference.”

For Ana, the food she receives is key to her education … and education is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty that has trapped generations of her family. At Convoy of Hope, we believe Ana deserves a bright future, full of opportunity, health, and safety. It’s our privilege to help clear the path that will take her there.

*This story first appeared in the 2018 Convoy of Hope Annual Report. Find the full report at convoyofhope.org/annualreport.

 

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Children's Feeding