About 20 years ago, a small group of women formed a cooperative in a remote rural village in Nigeria, to purchase a small palm oil press, as palm oil is a key cooking ingredient in the region. The women harvested palm seeds from their farms, paid a Tuk Tuk driver to transport them to the mill, and then spent hours fetching 5 wheelbarrows of water from a distant stream in order to run the press. The women hope to dig a well and build a water tank at the mill to improve their profits and health.
We will first dig a well & build a water tank at the palm oil mill in order to spare 300 widows & single moms from the inefficiency & back-breaking task of fetching water to press their palm fruit into oil. Second, by purchasing 2 TukTuks, the women can transport the fruit & pressed oil themselves, cutting out an expensive middle man & improving their profits. Lastly, each program participant will receive 5 palm tree saplings to plant on their farms, our commitment to the environment.
We believe in the Golden Rule 'She who has the Gold, makes the Rules'. By economically empowering widows and single mothers, we can give them a chance at extricating themselves out of poverty. When a widow has visibility in her income stream, the first thing she does is send her children back to school. Then she fixes her home. Then she reinvests in her business. Then she helps out her community, like installing windows at the school during the rainy season. Hence a virtuous cycle is launched!