Tag: Women’s Empowerment

Life Fights for Life

A scientist placed a plant in a room with no light. He was experimenting how long it would take for the plant to die from lack of sunlight. As the days passed, the petals wilted and turned brown. The plant struggled to live.

As he left for a trip, the scientist accidentally brushed the curtain by the door, which let a sliver of light into the room.

When he returned from his trip expecting to see the plant dead, he was astounded to see that the plant’s branches were stretching toward the thin beam of light that shone through the curtains. That tiny bit of light sustained the plant, even in surrounding darkness.

Every time I think of that story, I’m energized. To think that new life and new growth can form in just a tiny amount of light; that renewal and regeneration come from a single beam…especially now, as we’re surrounded by light with the spring season upon us.

This time of year is a favorite for many because the cycle of new life pushing its way out of the soil presents itself as a metaphor for our own lives. It’s as if we are all afforded fresh, new opportunities.

Just like the opportunities you, as a friend to Convoy of Hope, provide to women all over the world that enable them to grow crops and provide for their families. Through your partnership, we’ve been able to educate and train more than 5,500 women and girls in six countries around the world — 3,091 of those women were given seed capital to start their businesses.

Women who could not give their children food before are now running successful businesses, building their own homes and sending their children to school — things they never expected to be able to do.

Thank you for helping us give women a better life for their families — for being that sliver of light to a wilting plant.

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From The Founders / Inspiration
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

International Day of the Girl Child: Engage, Equip, Empower

In December 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child.

The U.N. saw the need to recognize young girls’ rights and challenges globally – encouraging communities around the world to commit to realizing their potential. Eradication of poverty and involving girls in decisions that affect them are vital aspects of breaking the cycle of violence and discrimination, and ensuring the rights of all young women.

Convoy of Hope believes in the empowerment of young girls, and is proud to be committed to the mission of empowering women and eradicating childhood poverty.

Convoy of Hope currently feeds nearly 150,000 children in 10 countries. Through the Children’s Feeding Initiative, they have access to clean water and nutritious meals, giving them energy to engage at school.

Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program is active in six countries. The program exists to empower women to make strategic, independent life choices through training, savings groups and non-traditional micro-enterprise development.

“To break the cycle of malnutrition and poverty, we have to reach younger girls,” says Andrea Frey Metzger, program director for Latin America. “If we don’t, they become a part of the same cycle that wronged them.”

We are breaking that cycle through our Empowered Girls Initiative, which brings educational programs to schools and communities. Topics covered in these sessions include self-esteem, gender-based violence and harmful cultural beliefs and practices.

Convoy partners with girls from a young age because we believe these girls will one day grow up to become contributing members of their societies and leaders of their communities.

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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