If someone had told me a year ago that a mere $50 could mean the difference between remaining in poverty and the chance at a better life, I don't know if I would have taken that claim very seriously.
Since joining ETC in late 2011, however, I have come to understand just how powerful and life-changing a small amount of money can be, for hundreds of women in rural Dolakha, Nepal.
ETC supports 42 women's groups in Dolakha, which have a combined total of more than 850 members. These women were almost all illiterate and living in grave poverty, often suffering from food shortage and malnutrition. Since ETC's arrival in Dolakha in 2008, they have learned to read, write, and do basic math. They have also received the resources and support they need to start and expand their own small businesses.
The women's groups control a total of more than $28,000 in savings assets, which they loan out to fellow group members. The average loan size is just under $50. In the past year and a half, hundreds of women have taken out and repaid business loans. The most popular types of small business for which start-up and expansion loans are requested are goat and poultry farms, accounting for more than 75% of all loan purposes.
A woman with a thriving small business can afford to feed her family more nutritious food and can ensure that all of her children are able to attend school. Moreover, she feels a significant sense of pride in her new-found abilities and achievements.
By supporting ETC's Women's Empowerment Program, you have helped to ensure that hundreds of women have gained the skills and confidence to improve their own lives and those of their families.
From all of us at ETC: Thank you for your generosity!
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