Success Stories

HIRDA-UK/SOMALIA: Empowering Women, Transforming Communities

The decline of the Somali state after the civil war redefined the socio-economic roles played by Somali women. With so many men dying, injured or simply losing interest in their marriages, women have had to take up the responsibility of caring for their families and working their way out of poverty.

Though Somali women are at the forefront of Somalia’s slow renaissance, the country’s improving economy has not benefitted them. They have limited access to land, finance to grow their businesses and are disproportionately affected by poverty, violence and discrimination.

Despite this situation, female entrepreneurs generate and promote business growth, provide sustainable employment and increase trading activities in the Somali regions.

That’s why in collaboration with our office in Somalia, we’ve made it our mission to empower these business women so they can positively effect change in their families lives and in their communities.

The grant we received from AFFORD helps us provide female entrepreneurs with loans to help them expand their businesses, receive tax exemptions and security from the local governments. They also benefit from protection from clan leaders as well as business advisory services so they can make their loan repayments.

We are extremely proud of the women we’ve worked with and celebrate how their new economic security causes a ripple effect of positive change: where future generations are educated, where the quality of their families lives are improved, where they believe in themselves and their ability to run businesses on their own and where their success stories inspires and generates more entrepreneurs.

The funding we receive from AFFORD makes a world of difference in the lives of these women and we look forward to building a future where women continue to empower and transform lives.

Bunyoro Kitara Development: Disability is not inability

For disabled women in Uganda, breaking out of the cycle of poverty is near impossible. With little or no formal education, these women are unable to gain steady employment which means no education for their children, zero access to good healthcare and poor standards of living.

This challenge is what the Bunyoro Kitara development association worked at erasing by providing 15 disabled women with skills that enabled them to be self-sufficient and financially independent.

Based in the Masindi district which is within Bunyoro region, the project aimed at training disabled women in tailoring/ hairdressing and bookkeeping. It also equipped them with sewing machines (for those undertaking the tailoring workshops) and hair dressing toolkits: a hair dryer, oils, relaxer, weave & combs. We also train them in basic business and financial management skills.

For women like Rose, Robina and Jenitha, this project gives them access to tools that they would have ordinarily been unable to afford which accords them the dignity of financial freedom.

With continued support from AFFORD, Bunyoro intends to open a resource training centre in Masindi so more disabled women can acquire the skills they need to thrive.

Riana Development Network: Eliminating poverty one household at a time

In partnership with AFFORD, our organisation addressed issues of food insecurity and poverty of 38 households within the Nyanza province in Kenya.

This province has the highest HIV prevalence in Kenya resulting in households that are headed by women who have lost their spouses or by children orphaned by the disease. With the loss of their breadwinners, these families were in dire need of food, clothing, healthcare and education.

Our project also targeted farmers in this community who had limited skills and resources to develop their farms and so had insufficient food supply and no sustainable income.

To help ameliorate the situation Riana Development network provided these households with a breeding stock of goats as well as training in administrative skills like record keeping and the use of a financial cooperative. The milk and meat from the livestock met the nutritional needs of these families, while the sale of milk, goats and pelts improved their financial security while their newly acquired skills in record keeping and administration raised their confidence in themselves and in their ability to run successful businesses.

The local farmers also benefitted from our efforts in livestock development, which increased their potential for higher amounts of sustainable income.

Through this initiative, these women and farmers have formed a corporative to help them manage their animal stock and other associated food insecurity issues in partnership with the local administrators.

We are excited about the prospect of building a farmer’s cooperative society that will seek to provide long term financial stability for farmers so they can diversify their income streams.

Development Impact for Nigeria: Creating business owners in Ishefun

Development Impact for Nigeria is an international development NGO that provides advocacy and community development support to individuals, self-help groups and professionals working with socially excluded communities in Nigeria.

Our organisation believes that with a job or a source of income, people are set free to live their best lives.

That’s why supported by AFFORD, we worked with low income earning women in Ishefun-giving them vocational training in a number of industries like shoemaking, soap-making, tailoring and sewing so they can become economically independent.

In all, over 60 women gained practical technical knowledge on the production process and received business and micro start-up advisory services before they set up their own small businesses.

The length of the training programs (at least 3 months) boosted their confidence in their ability to produce and gave them invaluable insights on how to package and market their products effectively.

The skills these women have acquired allows them to support their households, has improved their standards of living and encouraged trading activities within their communities.

The socio economic potential of this project is huge and we plan on rolling out this framework in other low income communities. We also plan on setting up a vocational centre and community cooperative/hub that would offer business education, advice and support as well as a cooperative microloan scheme for women. The future truly is promising.

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