We equip individuals with the guidance necessary to pursue healthy and productive lives.
Opportunity is a powerful weapon.
Poor entrepreneurial mentoring, inadequate start-up resources and over-saturated markets have left so many young, vulnerable people with no jobs and no direction. Our programs offer a jump start toward self-sustenance. While mastering a tangible, marketable skill that contributes to the vitality of the economy, individuals learn discipline, responsibility, diligence and management. The goods that are produced can be sold locally at a fair price and are often a catalyst for stable financial growth. Economic leadership is strengthened in the community, paving the way for small businesses, competent leadership and quality, local goods and services.
Empowerment unlocks the entrepreneurial spirit.
Vocational training equips the hungry to care for themselves and their communities. It encourages innovative thinking and interdependent economic growth by laying foundations for entrepreneurs to establish vibrant businesses. We are passionate about empowering men and women to make better lives. We strive to train and equip individuals with tangible skills so they can feed their families, keep their children in school and improve their circumstances.
CURRENT ENTERPRISE FOCUS AREAS:
Agriculture is essential to a developing country’s growth. Growth in agriculture is twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in other sectors. In sub-Saharan Africa, growth in agriculture was found to be 11x more powerful at reducing poverty than other sectors such as mining, utilities, and services. Earnings from agriculture make up around 30% of GDP across the continent of Africa and more than two-thirds of Africans depend on farming for their incomes.
Bricks are often the main structural material used in building projects across Africa. However, access to quality bricks is sparse in many communities. This results in new buildings quickly becoming dilapidated, structurally unsound and vulnerable to hazard risk, thus becoming unsafe to the people who use them. This undermines the ability of a building to function in society as a place of education, health care or economic activity further entrenching underdevelopment. In addition, the negative environmental impact of the brick-making process and lack of engineering skills add to the challenge of finding quality materials for construction.
Although mass-produced clothing and factory-made goods are increasingly available in Africa, sewing is still an important and necessary skill in the developing world. There is a strong demand for tailor-made clothing as well as alterations and repairs. There is also a steady market for custom-made school uniforms, which vary by location and school district. Owning a sewing machine and knowing how to use it can provide a family with consistent, flexible income. It is an ideal opportunity for mothers and grandmothers, who can operate a small sewing business from their own home, thus reducing overhead costs and giving them the flexibility they need to care for children or family members who are ill.
Southern Africa has seasons of hot weather, however, May, June and July see evening temperatures as low as 40°F. In fact, many secondary schools require students to own a sweater (jersey) as part of their school uniform. Owning a knitting machine and knowing how to use it can provide a family with consistent, flexible income. With a Slide knitting machine, they are able to produce even stitching on sweaters, scarves and hats with that same great hand-knit feel.
A micro loan opens the door of opportunity for the enterprising poor – providing the dignity and satisfaction that comes from working to support one’s family. However, a micro loan is about much more than just money. It helps create stability within the home, teaches individuals how to thrive, and fosters self-respect and community well-being. Once empowered, men and women are able to support their families for a lifetime – not just a few simple days or weeks. A micro loan is the difference between a hand up and a handout.
“I wanted to learn a skill and grow to a level
that would allow me to provide for myself and my children.
I wanted to be independent. Not depending on anyone
because that’s when I’ve been taken advantage of.
I live at peace now because I feel I’m living a fulfilled life.”
SEWING CO-OP PARTICIPANT
STORIES OF TRANSFORMATION