This project enables single mothers, uneducated and young widows, some of them HIV infected to become economically self-reliant. Sadly, in Tole area economic dependency is often related with HIV infection. This empowerment is done through income generating activities, start-up capital. business planning workshops, and the delivery of health awareness sessions, particularly focusing on HIV/AIDS.The project started with 20 girls and now has 36, 21 of them with profitable businesses.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
HIV/AIDS is wearing a female face in Buea. Minority groups (such as school drop outs, single mothers, young widows, girl orphans heading households) are most at risk. High economic dependence on men force many to engage in risky sexual behaviour. This is seen in marriages to older men and in the relationships many have with men commonly known as "sugar daddies". Other factors leading to female vulnerability include the high cost of bride price, wife inheritance and lack of access to education.
How will this project solve this problem?
Young women in minority groups will be empowered through training. Workshops focusing on starting, planning and managing a small business as well as income generating activities aim to reduce their insecure economic status. The program also raises awareness of health issues, especially HIV/AIDS, education and the importance of family planning. After 6 months of training the girls are able start their own businesses and get support through startup capital. They will be self-reliant economically.
Potential Long Term Impact
It is hoped that the girls will start and run their businesses independently and without interference from others. Through the startup capital which will be a combination of grants and an interest-free loan, girls are able to set up their micro projects. Loan repayments will be reinvested in further training. In addition, the girls also act as role models to their peers and communities. This income will benefit 36 girls directly and their families, especially children of single mothers.
Total Funding Received to Date: $15,235
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $9,765
Total Funding Goal: $25,000