Opportunities are the key to ending extreme poverty and creating leadership and business opportunities for women continues to be a central focus for CHOICE. Once a woman living in a rural village has coped with her family’s most pressing needs, she can then focus on income generating opportunities which allow her to sustain her family and contribute to her community. With the ability to earn an income and contribute to the support of their household, women are helping to pull their family out of poverty while also gaining traction as respected leaders.
Women in Bolivia have created a dairy cooperative that makes a variety of cheese, yogurt, and milk. The income the Aymara women earn from the cooperative helps send their children to school.
Yehu Microfinance is one of CHOICE Kenya’s most successful programs. Based on the Garmeen Model, it offers loans, saving and financial literacy. It also empowers marginalized rural entrepreneurs social and economically through enhanced access to innovative, affordable and sustainable financial solutions that are environmentally friendly.
It was established in 1998 with 300 members and $800. In 2015, the membership had grown to 49,500 with over $3 million in savings. Loans have increased from $50 to $25,000 to support women and families with business in agriculture, poultry, meat, dairy, education, health insurance, green energy, assets, and water tanks. Yehu now has 11 branches working in 7 counties.
And women in Peru recently decided that rather than individually raising one or two ducks, which would eventually be slaughtered and sold when money was tight, they would “pool” their ducks. They take turns caring for the ducks, each agreeing to take one day of the week to do it. To get them started, CHOICE provided basic instruction on how to care for the ducklings, including basic veterinary care like vaccines. These women have now produced over 500 ducks. They have been saving their profits to strengthen the co-op, and despite the large personal investment (particularly of time and energy), they have refused to withdraw from their joint savings for personal gain.