Investing in women’s economic empowerment builds a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth where everyone stands to benefit. In fact, women who earn income will invest it back into their families – enabling their children to attend school, eat nutritious food, receive crucial medical checkups, and enjoy an overall brighter future.
In the community of Kita, Mali, Plan International Canada’s economic empowerment programming is giving rise to a new wave of financially independent women who are not only saving money, but also lives too.
Where cash and caring come together
Thanks to the support of Canadians like you, we initiated loans and savings groups across Kita, where more than 60 women have been given a chance to take charge of their financial futures. These groups meet regularly to pool funds, pitch business ideas and offer one another loans.
In addition, these meetings also lend support beyond finance by providing a safe and comfortable space where women can ask questions and speak freely about their concerns.
Healthcare is a common topic of conversation, and local nurses use the loans and savings meetings as an opportunity to promote awareness of disease prevention and the importance of maternal and newborn child health.
“We meet once a week, and have also benefitted from training on malaria. We are very happy to participate … the reason that pushed me to join is that it will allow women to access better health care and make more money to help our families,” shares group member, Djita.
With support from the savings group, Djita has been empowered to take on an active role as a financial provider in her family.
“Today, women can be proud to be able to provide their support,” she says. “We are able to buy supplies for our children or seek healthcare. We are more fulfilled and no longer dependent on what our husbands bring home.”
Changing the story for women one meeting at a time
Like Djita, there are many other women in the community who are benefitting from the loans and savings groups, and they are proud to share how it’s transforming their lives.
“We live in a part of Mali where little importance is given to the role played by women in the development of the community, because of traditions.”
“Thanks to this project, I have more confidence in my abilities to contribute to the development of my family. I am not obliged to wait for support from men.”
“The change this project has made in my life is immense.”
“Today, I make and sell soap and this allows me to meet the needs of the clothing, school or health of my children.”
“There is a lot more cohesion between women through the loans and savings groups because of mutual assistance and more opportunity.”
“Men are relieved because they can now rely on us to help meet the family’s needs”
Men welcoming women’s newfound independence
It’s not just women who are happy about the changes taking place in Kita, its men too!
Mancon, a local husband and father, has seen the difference women are making in the community, and he’s excited for what the future holds.
“Community sponsors have led the entire community to establish solidarity with women,” he says. “Before, we were experiencing enormous difficulties in meeting the needs of our children. Since my wife has joined the group, she supports me in supporting the needs of our family.”
When you invest in girls and women, everyone wins
“A project which helps women and children can only be beneficial for the community,” says Djita.
And we couldn’t agree more.
Today, women in Kita are exercising their rights to participation, inclusion and economic empowerment. With these freedoms, they’re creating a brighter future for themselves, and for everyone around them!
Follow Kita’s journey from poverty to progress
With the help of our generous supporters, Plan International Canada is working in Kita to put the basic building blocks of development in place so that community members can break the cycle of poverty and begin a cycle of progress.
Join us, and help change lives forever.