In January 2020, I walked down a congested street in Kigali Rwanda. But this wasn’t just an ordinary street, this was a street that had no opportunity. Many women walked these streets and sold themselves night after night in order to feed their children. This street might as well be a dead end.
The ladies of DuHope came from this street but now they have opportunity. They are no longer sex workers. They have dignified employment making jewelry in a God centered workshop for a year or longer. Many of these ladies had only a 2nd grade education. Now they are receiving literacy and numeracy training. They are being empowered. But the sad reality is that they are not able to fully support their children because there is just not enough work. They need to have another source of income; they need to have their own business.
As I sat with the Director, I quickly learned these ladies were still living with their children in unsafe housing. They didn’t have enough money to provide nutritious food. Many times, they struggled to pay their children’s school fees. They could not afford medical insurance and often were unable to take their sick children to the doctors. In order to start a business or grow their current one, they needed business training and coaching. They also needed a capital investment to give their business a fighting chance.
This touched my heart. I am a businessperson and know you need the right tools to succeed. I also know when you invest in a woman, you change the course of her life and the trajectory of her children’s.
We started envisioning how we could empower her and change her life. January 30, 2020 in a small workshop in Kigali Rwanda, The Empowerment Project was born. For $3,755, we would be able to offer her safe housing, nutritious food, and medical insurance for her and her children for a year. We would be able to pay their school fees and supplies for a school year. We would offer her business training and ongoing coaching. And finally, we would invest the capital needed to create and grow her business.
We believe in empowering people so they can have an impact in their community, a lasting impact. We will be following her progress and giving you updates. Won’t you join us in changing her and her children’s lives. Join The Empowerment Project.
Update on Francine's Veggie Shop
How can you join? You can Round it Up! When you purchase online or on The Rolling Shack you have the ability to Round it Up to the nearest dollar and even add $1, $5, or whatever you like to the balance. We are a registered nonprofit so you can give online or write a check. Please make the check payable to The Marketplace and mail it to:
The Bottom Rung dba The Marketplace is a registered 501(c)(3).