The Hunger Project-Ethiopia focused 2014’s International Women’s Day on gender equality in savings and credit as part of the UN’s theme of “equality for women is progress for all.” The day was celebrated with an inauguration of Fetan Lewet, the Machakel Epicenter Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO).
Meet Matilda Aba Tibua, a married woman with four children, who is now helping to support her home after participating in The Hunger Project's Vision, Commitment and Action and food security workshops. She shared, "The Hunger Project brought some confidence into my life that I can do better than I am doing now."
Thanks to trainings at her epicenter, THP animator Argentina Paulo Cossa produces mobile stoves that use less firewood, and plans to open a handcraft workshop to produce other pottery products in addition to the stoves.
Critics of microfinance express concern that financial service providers are more interested in maximizing profits than meeting the needs of their poor clients and a new global effort, known as the Smart Campaign, aims to right this wrong. By identifying a set of common standards to guide all microfinance operations, the Smart Campaign provides a useful framework around which those who value putting clients first can rally. The Hunger Project recently signed on as an endorser of the Smart Campaign to demonstrate that it agrees with the idea that all microfinance clients deserve transparent, respectful and prudent services.
Gudatu Saving and Credit Cooperative (SACCO), or rural bank, of The Hunger Project's Jaldu Epicenter in Ethiopia has been awarded two cups and certificates for its outstanding work in mobilizing the highest number of women members and the highest saving amounts among other SACCOs at the regional and federal levels.
The goal of the Microfinance Program in each epicenter is to have the facility gain government recognition as a licensed Rural Bank, owned entirely by community members and managed by a majority female board. The Rural Bank then provides the entire epicenter community with sustainable access to savings and credit facilities. THP-Malawi is therefore happy to announce the recognition of two new Rural Banks in Champiti and Ligowe Epicenters.
Genet Mosa utilized the Microfinance Program in her local epicenter to develop as a community leader, thrive as a business woman, nurture a savings account and improve the lives of her family and neighbors.
Before joining the Microfinance Program, I had never imagined making an income or even dared to speak in public. Now I am President of our group and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kissamey Epicenter fund.