Forty-two percent of Zambia's population lives on less than two dollars per day, defined as extreme poverty by the UN. Low income and 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, have no regular source of income, and are unable to provide adequate care. These women need education and support.
Our solution is to provide business training, three loans, and ongoing business mentoring to first time women entrepreneurs. Earnings from businesses help pay for food, rent, medicines, and school expenses. A better diet results in improved health and stable earnings enable children to attend school. Open discussions on HIV encourage women to get tested resulting in HIV prevention. Loan recipients work hard, are more financially literate, and enjoy a higher status. Gender equity is improved.
Loan recipients run profitable businesses, and build an asset base. The diet and health of families improves, more children attend school, more women get tested for HIV, and HIV stigma is lower. In addition, more women save regularly, and open bank accounts. In the long term, the women are economically and socially empowered, resulting in improved gender equity and lower income inequality. The community can break out of the vicious circle of low education and poverty and solve problems.
This project has provided additional documentation in a XLSX file (projdoc.xlsx).