The Empowerment Project Update! “Two quick updates on Francine, we have been able to help her get a new shop for her fruit/veggie business and she is currently looking for a new home for her family.” That is seriously some good news. Francine, a single mom of 8 children in Rwanda, is the 1st recipient of The Empowerment Project. Due to the Covid19 lockdown, they have been unable to help her establish her business and move her out of her unsafe housing. As the stay at home order is being lifted, Francine is now able to move ahead with her business.
Let me give you a bit of background on her business. She has a fruit and veggie stand. In Rwanda, you cannot technically run a business without a storefront. Do some vendors just set up on the streets? They do but if they are caught their inventory is confiscated and they are fined. Because of the Empowerment Project, Francine now has the needed capital to officially launch her shop, increase her inventory, and offer the community a much needed service. Unlike here, people have to walk to shop. Having businesses in the community allows people to get their shopping done without having to go far. We will be showing you video in the coming days of her new storefront.
Now that the order has been lifted, they are helping Francine find safer housing. Francine lives in a violent area and in order to move to a nicer one, she has to have more income. It’s a catch 22. Part of the Empowerment Project is to subsidize her housing for a year while she focuses any extra funds towards inventory or whatever is needed to increase her business. The premise of the project is to invest in single moms in Rwanda who have left a life of sex work and are currently employed by our ministry partner DuHope making jewelry. Unfortunately there is not enough jewelry work so the ladies are creating their own small businesses so they are better able to provide for their families. They will receive business/skills training along with coaching from a Rwandan staff. Once the team feels they have a viable business model, they will be given the capital to launch/grow their business. We will be following their progress and cheering them on!
For more details on The Empowerment Project and if you would like to donate, please visit our website.