The Greater Contribution goes beyond micro loans to provide the tools our borrowers need to succeed. This empowerment program delivers the full support necessary for women to lift themselves and their families out of extreme poverty in a sustainable way.
Creating Sustainable Incomes
Lack of capital is one of the primary reasons women living in the developing world are unable to earn a sustainable income. Our borrowers have a strong work ethic. They value education for their children, and prioritize paying for education when they have the money. Nevertheless, most of them don’t have the incomes or savings to provide their children with well-balanced meals, medicines when they are sick, or shoes for their feet.
With their micro loans, women purchase seeds, chickens, cattle, feed, second-hand clothing, and other items to sell at a profit and earn a sustainable income. When the micro loan is paid back, it is loaned out again and again to more women in need; in essence, it is reusable, efficient capital. 98% of micro loans are paid off in full. Click here to find out more about our micro loan program.
Training for Business Success
Lack of training is another roadblock to success for women in Uganda. Our training includes budgeting, inventory control, record keeping, business planning, and more. Attendance at this training is mandatory for a woman to receive a loan. In addition, our program provides mentoring by a trained, local loan coordinator, as well as peer support groups comprised of women from the same community. They support and educate one another as they grow their businesses.
When women succeed, they are three times as likely as men to reinvest in their families, business, and community. Some of our micro loan borrowers have gained so much confidence, they go on to take leadership positions in their communities.
Closing the Adult Education Gap
Many of the women who receive micro loans through our programs never had the opportunity to attend school due to many years of war and unrest in Northern Uganda, as well as their families’ failure to value education for their daughters. This lack of basic education has severely disadvantaged Ugandan women and limited their ability to advance financially and culturally.
Providing these women with literacy skills allows them to be more successful in their business ventures. Our two-year basic literacy training gives them vital skills to create more prosperous and meaningful lives. Not only are they able to communicate more proficiently in their work, they become more confident in all aspects of their lives.
Keeping Girls in School
58 million primary school-age children are not in school. 60% are girls. Providing menstrual health education and sanitary pads empowers girls to remain in school so they obtain the education that is so critical to escaping the horrendous cycle of poverty that has trapped so many women and girls.
We are thrilled to report that in 2020, through our partnership with VacNet, nearly 5,800 sanitary pads were delivered for free via the Healthy Periods Initiative. Judging from the reactions of girls, it’s a wildly popular program. “This helps girls choose what they want for their futures,” said one. Another added: “This helps us so much. It helps me feel free.”