Women’s Financial Empowerment Project

Women’s Financial Empowerment Project

  • Kigali, Rwanda
         “Sparking Self-Sufficiency in Africa Through Sustainable Income”          

In 2014, Pilot Light partnered with the Mother and Child Development Center (MCDC) in Kigali, Rwanda to help urban women to increase their income.  The project empowered women socially, economically and literally through skills development and providing early childhood development to the vulnerable children through childcare at the MCDC Center. The women were trained in catering/bakery, hairdressing/manicuring and tailoring.

Family Pride Bakery and two outlets were opened to support the project on three levels. It is used as a training center for those training in catering/bakery. It employs graduates of the program. The income from the bakery is used to support the financial needs of the program as a whole.

In addition to vocational training, the women were formed into Revolving Fund groups. These are groups who save their money together, give each other small loans to support their businesses and, finally, hold each other accountable for the payback.

Options and opportunity. In 2017, the Revolving Fund part of this project was extended to include over 125 rural women, as well as those in Kigali. In 2018, due to changes in Rwandan law, the daycare center was closed and because of the fantastic results we saw coming directly from the Revolving Funds, we decided to focus solely on that part of the project.

Support and Outcome. The women have had inspiring and impressive results in using loans to start small businesses or in increasing their already existing businesses (which is sometimes farming) and parlaying their profits into significantly increased income. In some cases they use each loan as a stepping stone to a bigger business.

Building a community of empowered women means a better life for the whole  family.

Options and Opportunity. Women can access a better life for themselves and their families.

Community Stature/ Job. Skills-shared learning experiences not only empower individual prospects but improve gender equality as a whole.

Healthy Families begin in early childhood. Healthcare education provides lifelong practices that dramatically improve outcomes.

Economic Empowerment. This builds self-reliance and the ability to raise families free of domestic violence.