Help Women Work their Way Out of Poverty in Togo

by ACTION10
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Help Women Work their Way Out of Poverty in Togo
Help Women Work their Way Out of Poverty in Togo
Help Women Work their Way Out of Poverty in Togo
Help Women Work their Way Out of Poverty in Togo
Help Women Work their Way Out of Poverty in Togo
Help Women Work their Way Out of Poverty in Togo
Help Women Work their Way Out of Poverty in Togo

Action10 visited our programme partner and our programmes in the nine villages in rural Togo during May 2019. We usually visit once a year. We were as always well received, both by our Programme management partner S.E.VIE and our Target partners in the villages.

During the visit we discussed lessons learned and programme strengthening. For the villages we agreed to try money transfer with mobile money, ensure coaching meetings when challenges occur, rather than every week as we have done before, and to involve more coaches from the villages than before. We agreed on ways to strengthen the cooperatives and the efficiency. We have previously agreed to strengthen the team with a coach who visits every month and an auditor for the annual financial review.

We have evidence based impact that 100 women entrepreneurs are now self-sustained. They run their own businesses without our coaching. 200 women entrepreneurs run successful businesses benefiting from our coaching and 100 are on the waiting list to enter. We are also happy to notice that 150 children have concluded their primary education, which is a side-effect of our programme. These children had not entered school when our partner identified them as vulnerable and needing our assistance.

The programme is successful and we have seen a need to scale-up. It has been decided to copy the village programme to a semi-urban city. We will manage 200 entrepreneurs in the semi-urban city Tsévié, and we expect that 30-50 of them will become self-sustained per year. At the same time we will continue the programme in the villages.

We truly admire our Programme management partner S.E.VIE for their capability in the villages, how they are appreciated by the people and how they have a warm heart for everyone, especially the children. We would also like to take this opportunity to proudly thank for the attention and support by Rotary Club of Stockholm International for their attention and support.

On behalf of the 500 women benefiting from our programme and their families, we want to sincerely thank the Global Giving Friends for your attention and for your support. You shall rest assured that your contributions are well invested. Less than 3 % remains in Sweden, 7% remains with the Programme management partner in Togo and 90 % reaches the vulnerable in Togo. Further, we work with a sustainable aspect in mind and our programmes are copied and scaled up. The money invested is recollected and re-used, over and over again.

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The sustainability of our projects is one of our main focus areas. We don't consider a project "successful" until it is not in the hands of the community that benefits from it. Until the community embraces the change and knows how to bring prosperity in the long term.

Therefore, besides helping more than 350 women set up their own businesses, we are extremely proud that 99% of the loans have been paid back and reinvested into new businesses. As you may recall from previous reports, one effective way to support the sustainability of the project was to put the women into groups and together to share a collective responsibility for meeting loan repayments. This way if one woman can’t make a repayment one week, the group will pay it back on time.

This method has proven successful and now we just have to continue getting more and more women into the program. Every day, the majority of people living in the countryside in Togo suffer from malnutrition as a result of extreme poverty. Inadequate healthcare, poor educational facilities and child labour compound the difficulties for many rural villagers. What’s more, a husband has legal powers to restrict his wife’s freedom to work and to control her earnings, reducing the development of human capital and long-term poverty reduction. Although many of these women want to contribute to the family income, they do not have the resources, support or training to join the labour market.

There's where WE come in TOGETHER.

Thank you for your support!

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Amma
Amma

Meet Amma. She is now running a small business selling porridge after receiving a loan from this programme. This programme that you supported. Quite incredible how far a small contribution can go. And like Amma, there are other 800 women part of the programme! 

We continue spreading the programme in other villages and the number of women involved increases week by week. Our work keeps focusing on the following 3 main areas:

1. START: offering loans to women to start small local businesses. These businesses can be anything from producing and selling food, drinks and clothing to cutting people’s hair.

2. SUPPORT: enhancing the knowledge and business skills of these women is just as important as the loan itself. The training programmes are suited to the learning needs of the women so they acquire lifelong knowledge about earning a profit, saving and reinvesting into their business.

3. SCALE: the women are put into groups and together they share a collective responsibility for meeting loan repayments. This way if one woman can’t make a repayment one week, the group will pay it back on time. The financial sustainability of the programme is achieved by the high 99% repayment rate on loans.

We still have a long way to go in achieving our goal and every contribution helps us reach more women, create more businesses, offer more trainings, improve more lives and build more sustainable communities.

Thank you once again for your donations and we hope to continue having your support in the future. Because with your support we can accomplish more!

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During the last months, Action10 has been focused on helping the women entrepreneurs in Togo to scale their business. Training and support have been given in regards to financial management, sustainable economy, and business scaling. 

Furthermore, we have been spreading the program in other villages as well and increasing the number of women in the program every week. Up to 800 women are now part of this project and the benefits are increasing for their families as well.  

 With your support, the work with this projects is continuing to change lives in Togo and helping the communities to build a sustainable livelihood altogether. Thank you for all your donations and we look forward to updating you soon with our advancements. 

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During the last months through the work done in this program, it is noticeable the impact is positive and significant! Most of the women experienced that their lives were easier in terms of finances, due to the business activities. 32 % of the women we able to start new businesses and 89 % stated new businesses and/or expanded previous businesses.

Most of the children also experienced a positive impact as money was now available, more than before, for medicine or visits to the health clinic if they got ill, and to buy breakfast, clothes, shoes and even snacks at the market day. 

Villages have access to new and more products and services. Thereby development of the villages is strengthened both in terms of finances and infrastructure. 

Prior to the program the market essentially concerned selling of the local drink (Tchoukoutchou), but after one year with the program, the selling of the local drink had reduced to 25 % of the market activity. Afia, 40 who sells porridge and is a beneficiary of a loan of 20 000 FCFA (30 €) states that "Many women slept, and with the arrival of your loan program, they have awakened".

 

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Organization Information

ACTION10

Location: Bromma - Sweden
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Action10Org
Project Leader:
Cecilia Öman
Bromma, Sweden
$10,381 raised of $20,000 goal
 
110 donations
$9,619 to go
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