Economic Empowerment – women’s self-help groups (South Africa)
Hopes and Dreams exists solely for the direct relief of poverty and began their first project in 2010. They are passionately committed to making a difference to the lives of the poor and desperate people living in the remote and rural parts of Africa and India.
Their mission is dedicated to delivering self-sustaining, poverty breaking solutions through micro enterprise and water development projects in Africa and India and focus on two key areas:
• bringing clean and safe water to communities, and
• assisting the poor with providing Economic Empowerment opportunities.
Hopes and Dreams believe they can assist in breaking the cycle of poverty for those who have been in this condition for years and even generations. They don’t want to see children dying before 5 years of age because of water related diseases and don’t want to see people go to bed hungry because they don’t have an income that can support their basic needs. They want to see people, who, for the first time, have a hope for the future.
Hopes and Dreams solutions are self-sustaining with more than 90% of funds received going towards the projects. To date they have successfully implemented 684 projects (5 in Zambia, 1 in Zimbabwe, 621 in South Africa & 57 in India).
The funds received will go towards facilitating micro loans to the entrepreneurial poor to create 11 Self Help Trust Groups (5 women per group).
This grant will allow for adequate selection, training, follow up and management of loans for 55 women. With each woman representing a household having an average of 5 dependents, these 55 loans will help reach 275 lives. The average cost to facilitate a loan is $33 per person.
Below is a snapshot of how this project will have a Life Change / Impact:
- 55 women will know how to establish (or develop) a small business
- Provide training & coaching that will empower the women to run a viable small business
- Once the 55 loans are repaid the same initial loan is recycled to other women giving them the same opportunity
- Relationships will be developed over the loan cycle as loans are repaid at the centre meetings
- Providing all they need to survive & pay for the everyday needs of life
- Create a financial sustainability that not only meets the women’s needs but can allow for their children to go to school
- Those in need (who are usually neglected) will earn a respectable living which in turn will lead to self-reliance and sustainability
- The participants will gain self-worth and live dignified lives
- Provide opportunity for women to escape systemic poverty.
This enables them to generate a constant income, provide for the needs of their household (e.g. food, clothing, schooling, healthcare), establish savings, brings hope and a better quality of life to the entire family. These businesses are self-sustainable from day one.
The UCF Board was pleased once again to approve a grant of $2,000 AUD for such a worthwhile project with proven successful outcomes.