Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change

by Global Grassroots
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Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change
Help Vulnerable Women Become Leaders of Change

Project Report | Jun 21, 2016
Sewing and knitting lead to happier homes

By Kathleen P. Mahoney | Fundraising and Communications Coordinator

Marie-Claire is all smiles now!
Marie-Claire is all smiles now!

Team Unite launched their venture in 2013 in a village outside of Kigali, Rwanda. Their work consists of three parts: teaching community members skills that can create income, providing opportunities for people (particularly women) to come together in groups to discuss their lives, and educating their community about women's rights.

First the team purchased sewing and knitting machines and taught groups of women - and men - how to use them. They taught jewelry- and basket-making, too, so community members now have a variety of ways to earn income. Everyone who produces goods gives 10% of the sale back to the venture, keeping 90% for themselves; what is returned to the team is re-invested in the venture.

Men and women work in separate groups. Unite members will then talk to the group about women's rights, domestic violence, the importance of education, etc. while their captive audience works on producing their crafts. In these groups, men and women are also more likely to engage in open conversations about their lives and it is often through these conversations that the team learns of a marriage in trouble or a woman being abused by her husband. The team can then intervene.

Marie-Claire has been married for five years and has two small sons. Despite her husband's salary, her own salary as a primary school teacher, and the income from food they grow to sell, Marie-Claire said they never had any money. Her husband would take it all and spend it on alcohol and other women. As a result, the couple was always in conflict and she was ready to leave with the children who were frequently distressed. As a last resort, Marie-Claire confided in one of Unite's leaders. A small contingent of team members then made weekly visits to Marie-Claire's home to help the couple resolve their issues. Over time, Marie-Claire's husband grew to understand the impact his behavior was having on his wife and children and he knew that it was up to him to change.

Marie-Claire says that now they are 'doing well' and her children no longer experience turmoil at home. Her husband brings his salary home each week and together they decide how they will use their income. He is also spending more time with their children. Marie-Claire smiled and said, "I am very happy."

So far, Unite's work has reached 420 people, including 71 men and 32 youth, and local leaders now refer troubled couples to the team for help.

Your support of Global Grassroots' Academy for Conscious Change makes it possible for teams such as Unite to implement their own sustainable solutions to social issues impacting people in their community, especially women and girls. Thank you!

A young man trained to sew by Unite
A young man trained to sew by Unite
Women trained by Team Unite
Women trained by Team Unite

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Organization Information

Global Grassroots

Location: Portsmouth, NH - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @consciouschange
Global Grassroots
Gretchen Steidle
Project Leader:
Gretchen Steidle
President and Founder
Portsmouth , New Hampshire United States

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