Economic Empowerment – women’s self-help groups (South Africa)
Hopes and Dreams began their first project in 2010 and are passionate about their work to help break the cycle of poverty for those who have lived with it for years and even generations.
Hopes and Dreams is dedicated to delivering self-sustaining, poverty breaking solutions through micro enterprise and water development projects in Africa and India.
They focus on two key areas:
• bringing clean and safe water to communities, and
• assisting the poor by providing Economic Empowerment opportunities.
Repeated grants are entirely at the UCF directors’ discretion and they have been pleased to make three previous grants to Hopes and Dreams because of the success rate with their micro-loan programmes.
The grant funds received will go towards facilitating micro-loans to the entrepreneurial poor to create 11 Self Help Trust Groups (5 women per group).
This will allow for adequate selection, training, follow up and management of loans for 55 women to start their own business. With each woman representing a household with 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.
These women start up businesses in any of the following areas: Selling new clothes, selling Second Hand clothes, Cool Drinks / Juices, Cosmetics, Fruit and Vegetable, Handbags, Knitting Machine / Wool, Live Chickens, Meat on Dish, Meat with Fridge, Salon / Hairpiece, Shoes / Sandals, Tailoring & Tuckshops/ Spaza.
The programme is built on the model of providing opportunity of a “hand up” not a “hand out”. Hopes and Dreams have already seen women who are part of their programme break generational poverty.
On average more than 95% of loans are repaid at the end of the 4 month loan cycle and the last grant acquittal showed 73% applied for a second loan.
Training and coaching empower the women to run a viable small business and once the 55 loans are repaid the same initial loan is recycled to other women giving them the same opportunity.
The UCF directors were pleased to once again grant $2,000 to Hopes and Dreams to continue their successful programmes.