Convoy of Hope Increases Women Empowerment in Ethiopia

Posted on April 10th, 2014 by Maggie Castrey

Ethiopian women in meetingConvoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program in Ethiopia has improved the lives of 1,000 women and their families since it began in 2010. Dr. Nancy is a major sponsor of the Ethiopian program. In February 2014 a group of 20 supporters, family members and staff traveled from Springfield Missouri, the headquarters of Convoy of Hope, to learn about the empowerment program and to meet some participants.

“We opened it up to families this time,” says Convoy of Hope’s Development Director Jaimie Trussell, “so we even had a few kids with us.

At left, women attend a program meeting.

 

Ethiopian Women in bakery“The folks who attended were interested in our Women’s Empowerment Program, where we give women a means to break the cycle of poverty,” Trussell says. “They get 10 weeks of training and graduate equipped with a skill set, a trade and the capital necessary to thrive as small business owners.”

The next trip is planned for November 18-23, 2014.

At right, women working in a bakery are preparing Ethiopian flat breads and loaves.

 

 

Ethiopian WomanRoasts beans“We are not dispensing band-aid solutions or hand outs,” says Trussell. “We are investing in women whom society has overlooked and the dividends are amazing. These women are doing everything in their power to create a brighter future – and they are thriving!”

About 300 women graduated from the program in Ethiopia in 2013. Many of those who become CEO’s of successful small businesses report a new average monthly income of $350. This is 10 times greater than the local average.

At left, a woman roasts coffee beans before brewing and filling cups for visitors.

 

 Women’s Empowerment Update

Convoy of Hope’s Women Empowerment program currently operates in Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Honduras and Tanzania where it will be enrolling more women. In 2014 it will expand into the Philippines and El Salvador as well.

Program At-A-Glance

Ethiopian WomenPickLentils• 1,694 women and girls across four countries participated in the program.
• 576 women granted the start up capital they needed to be CEO’s of their own micro-businesses.
• There was a 217% increase in income reported by participants after engaging in Convoy of Hope’s sponsored micro-enterprise activity.
• 81 “Empowered Girls” training sessions were conducted among 970 young women to promote self-esteem and encourage them to stay in school.

 

Women Around the World Face Tremendous Hardships

Women at HutSmOf the 1.3 billion people living in the most abject poverty, 70 percent of those are women. Despite being brutalized and demeaned, these women keep their families and communities together. With our help, job training and education, these women can gain self esteem and build self-confidence. With these tools, and with micro-loans, many start their own businesses and can give better lives to their children.

These women are smart and resourceful. They are easily able to learn the business activities and how to think like entrepreneurs. With just a little assistance they quickly learn to make decisions that lead to better health, education and finances for themselves and their families.

As Convoy of Hope’s website states, “When women are given the opportunity to generate income, it not only impacts their families, it impacts their country’s economic standing. We help them learn to make strategic, independent life choices by providing training right in their own communities. They work in cooperative savings groups made up of their peers and help each other develop micro businesses to support their families.

For more information, visit the Convoy of Hope website

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