Empowering Women Reduces Poverty: Making a Difference One Woman at a Time
“There is no tool for development more efficient than the empowerment of women” Kofi Annan
Women living with HIV and AIDS who are also widows stand little chance at livelihood survival in Nigeria. UNAID’s HIV and AIDS Estimates (2015) states that 3.5 million people are living with HIV in Nigeria; 2.4 million of this are women.
The trickle-down effects of women having equal access to participate fully in income-generating activities could be a key driving force against poverty. Women with access to economic generation activities have healthier children and stand a better chance of educating their children.
In 2007, Development Africa began a Women Empowerment Project working with HIV-positive and widowed women in Ibadan, Oyo State. Over the nine-year period, our project has empowered over 3,000 indigenous women directly and indirectly in Oyo State through SME scale start-up capital and investments based on needs and soft-skills training for running successful small businesses.
Till date, Development Africa has opened 47 small businesses that are still in business and running profitably. In 2015 and 2016, 11 new businesses were set up and beneficiaries are trained and mentored for a period of one year to ensure continuity and sustainability.
The shop that was opened through sponsorship raised in the ‘Start Businesses for 10 HIV/AIDS widows in Nigeria’ project for Mrs. Olayiwola Omonike is steadily growing. She is expanding her business knowledge with regular training provided by DA and our local partner ‘Centre for Child Health and Education’ and on-the-job experience. She remains extremely grateful to everyone who contributed to her shop and the results so far have enabled her to make changes in the way she lives as well as the opportunities for education, nutrition and quality of life she is able to provide for her children.