Forty-two percent of Zambia's population lives on less than two dollars per day, defined as extreme poverty by the UN. Low income, together with a high incidence of HIV and AIDS related deaths, has orphaned thousands of children. These children live with extended families and face malnutrition, neglect, and abuse. Most orphans are cared for by grandmothers who have never been to school, lack marketable skills & are unable to provide adequate care. The women need support and training themselves.
Our solution is to provide business training, small loans, and ongoing business mentoring to first time women entrepreneurs. Earnings from businesses started help pay for food, rent, medicines and school expenses. With a better diet, there is an improvement in the health of the family and children can attend school. With the provision education in HIV, loan recipients are better informed about HIV prevention, get tested for HIV, become role models for others, and take steps toward self-reliance.
We believe that empowering women strengthens communities. In the medium term we expect higher attendance in school via better health and nutrition, better knowledge about HIV, more women getting tested, and reduced stigma. In the long term we expect more women are saving regularly, and are economically and socially empowered. With 100 new women running businesses, 700 people are impacted directly and an additional 1500 people indirectly. Impact on the community is sustained and long lasting.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
The Vision Behind our Micro Loans Program
Impact of our Micro Loans Program
Business Training Provided to New Women
About our Micro Loans Program