Improved farming techniques such as mulching, which keeps soil moist and reduces weeds, means Virgina (left) and Pellagia (right) have more time for other income generating activities. The women are members of a poultry producer group in Masvingo province, southeastern Zimbabwe supported by CARE.
“We can sell our chickens and have money for our households,” says Pellagia. “CARE has given us somewhere to start.”
Nana with her grandmother Aboubacar, a member of the first Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), which started in 1991.
“It all started, Aboubaca told us, with a metal lockbox that was equipped with three padlocks and three keys.”
Each key had a separate keeper among a group of women. Soon, they started working together to deposit, save and lend money from the lockboxes. The women met weekly under a shady tree alongside other women in the community.
Over the last twenty-five years, members of the group have saved and deposited each week in their gray metal lockbox which is still used today. Aboubaca never attended school, but the group savings unlocked other opportunities for her.
With the added income from Aboubaca’s businesses, her family’s life changed. She was able to feed her children more nutritious food and, as they got older, she was able to pay for their weddings as they started families of their own. Back home, her savings allowed her to build a decent home semi-concrete with a metal roof leaving behind her straw home. The hut still sits a few feet from her door but now shelters goats instead of people.
Aboubaca’s daughter, Haoua, grew up attending savings group meetings with her mother. She never attended school, but strongly believes that education is critical for the future of her own children.
“I want them to go to school so they can become anything they want, because I didn’t have that chance.”
Today, Haoua’s savings group helps her earn money to cover her family’s school expenses.
“People are more enlightened today,” she says. “They know how to earn money and how to invest it. My generation is wiser than my mother’s, and my kids’ will be stronger than mine. It will only continue.”
Pamela, Papua New Guinea. Pamela (8) is a Grade 1 student at a remote elementary school in Papua New Guinea’s highlands that is benefitting from CARE’s support. She loves school, and her teacher has high hopes for her:
“Pamela can speak English, and read and write very well. She is great in class." “I would like to be a teacher when I grow up,” says Pamela. “To do that I will need to get educated and do well in school. I will have to get good marks on tests, and I will have to go to bigger schools, and then college.”
Pamela’s future depends on her school and teachers being the best they can be.
“Girls’ education is so important,” says Pamela’s teacher. “There are so many jobs that women can do in this country, so girls need to be just as educated as boys.”
When Maliyana's father passed away her mother was left to raise two children on her own. The family had many struggles and often went without food. Thanks to people who have purchased CARE gifts, CARE was able to provide the family with some goats. One goat can provide up to 16 glasses of protein filled milk.
Maliyana says, "When the goats came to our household they brought so much joy."
Bedryyah, Jordan. Bedryyah is a Syrian refugee who came to Jordan with absolutely nothing. Now not only is she feeding her eight children, but also her community. She has her own catering business, and from her own simple small kitchen, she’s selling her tasty food to people she knows, organizations and bazaars.
Through business training that she got from CARE, she learned how to get more customers to her kitchen and how to market her products.
“The program has made my life better. I don’t need anyone to pay the rent, my electricity and water any longer. When the people in my village offer me positive feedback for what I am doing, I feel like one of the proudest people in the world.”
You can help women like Bedryyah start their own businesses by purchasing a CAREgift for your friends or family this holiday season.
Kalista, Tanzania. Like many women in the region, Kalista carries the heavy burden of providing for her family. She works hard to grow as much as she can. But last year, her crops didn’t grow. She replanted what she could, but without a harvest to eat or sell, the family’s only source of food was ugali — a paste made with water and cornflour.
“Normally I eat very little. The little there is, I give to the children. I don’t want to tell them we do not have enough food, and would rather give them my share.”
Kalista is now one of nearly one thousand farmers who participate in CARE’s Growing is Learning project.
“The village office told me about soy. They explained we should use it for porridge so we have a better diet. I am open to trying new projects to feed my children. I want to go to the training and set aside land for soy.”