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. Education and support can change lives.
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. Loan recipients work hard, are more financially literate, build assets, and enjoy a higher status. Open discussions result in reducing HIV related stigma, better knowledge, testing & HIV prevention.
Loan recipients run profitable businesses, build an asset base and provide employment. The diet and health of families improves, more children attend school, women save regularly, and open bank accounts. In the long term, the women are economically/ socially empowered and self-reliant, resulting in improved gender equity. The community can break out of the vicious circle of poor health-low income- low education-lack of opportunity and find solutions that work for its culture and environment.
This project has provided additional documentation in a XLSX file (projdoc.xlsx).