October 2017 Program Roundup
October 24, 2017
Hands up and hats off to the remarkable men, women, and children who have shown us what empowerment can do. From the men and women willing and ready to take on the new challenge of farming ginger to our Survival Skills students navigating the way to their future, this month has been one of incredible progress and impact.
Groups in our Agriculture Training program in Sierra Leone are pursuing opportunities in contract farming ginger. Our team in Sierra Leone is currently working to identify the right local partner who will purchase the ginger that the groups will be farming.
A contract farming opportunity will give each man and woman an opportunity to potentially double their household income.
Taking initiative to complete a rigorous qualification process, three groups (Motoboh 1 and 2, Mabureh Mende, and Kerefay) in Sierra Leone have qualified for the project. The groups have elected leaders and signed their group agreements. Each group will work under the advisement of our Field Officers Joe Lassayo and John Bangura.
We are inspired by the farmers’ initiative as they pursue bigger opportunities that will have a profound effect on their families and communities.
Savings groups allow communities to come together and hold each other accountable as they invest and save in order to provide things like healthcare, food and education for their families.
Our team in Ghana has officially met its 2017 goal of 45 savings groups. This places our total participant numbers at 997 with 61% female participation. Without bank accounts, it is difficult to save money, but these communities are taking ownership of their savings and working toward their goals for the future together.
We are seeing a growing independence in the lives of the men and women who are a part of our Savings Group program. Managing their own financial futures has empowered them to change their way of thinking and go from surviving day-to-day to thriving.
Just Hope launched the Widow Empowerment Program in Haiti. After devastating Hurricane Matthew in 2016, many entrepreneurs lost their businesses and their main source of income. This destruction contributed to the desperate situation in the community of Jeremie, Haiti, where 85% are unemployed.
Based on Just Hope’s mission to make an “impact that lasts,” the Widows Empowerment Program in Haiti allows those who expressed a genuine desire to improve their circumstances to rebuild their businesses and generate household income. By promoting business ownership and economic empowerment, the program will create jobs for women and local youth who were living on public charity.
There are twenty widows in the program, each with an average of six dependents. The women have entrepreneurial backgrounds and will receive business skills advice, capital to restart their venture, and mentoring sessions from senior Business Administration students of the University of Jeremie.
Just Hope seeks to encourage and reinforce their entrepreneurial spirit as they create more opportunities for themselves and members of their communities.
They say practice makes perfect and our Survival Skills students are getting lots of interview practice both inside and outside the classroom. This month, our students learned job interview techniques and appropriate behaviors in places of business.
These lessons, combined with their previous transportation unit, equipped Alejandra to navigate the city, acquire her paperwork, and secure an internship at a government organization responsible for protecting children in Panama.
This internship is an opportunity presented by her school, which she interviewed for earlier this year. Each student accepted had to have good grades and exemplary behavior. Working as an intern receptionist, Alejandra will gain experience in the local market, receive a certificate of completion, and earn school credit.
Alejandra is a testament to what empowerment looks like every day. Her hard work and initiative, combined with a “hand up” from Just Hope in the form of Survival Skills training, earned her an internship that she can use to begin building a career for herself.