We are the only safe water cause that does this.
When women no longer have to walk miles to get water, it frees up 50% of their time, time that they can use to work in a more productive way to earn money for their families. To make that a reality, they first need some critical education.
This is an integral part of our work. Wherever we drill a well, we establish a microfinance education program for women.
Women need to learn basic business skills as some do not know how to count and many have never handled money before. They form savings groups of about 25 women and begin attending regular training sessions led by a skilled facilitator. Each woman contributes a small amount of money to the pool, which is then loaned to individual members.
Since they are practicing with their pooled resources, women feel a strong sense of responsibility to pay back the loan. Most already have a marketable skill - making millet cakes, peanut oil, soap, raising chickens and goats, etc. We also teach drip-farming techniques so they can grow vegetables and sell them in the local market.
Within 3-6 months, each woman has had the opportunity to launch her own small business. Through the ongoing cycles of lending and borrowing, the women are able to continue to grow their businesses. As a result, the women feel a strong sense of accomplishment and pride.
As these women expand their businesses and repay their loans, they don't just improve the economic circumstances of their families, they help to transform lives throughout their entire village. They become role models for their children who want to experience the same success. Most of all, they have hope for their future.