What a week I had in Ethiopia! It was humbling and inspiring to see the work happening in the field. The women I met with are examples of true ingenuity and hard work, and they are doing amazing things! Our first Women’s Group was definitely a success. In that group, we provided training and grants for three sisters to launch small businesses. It was an honor to visit their homes and see their businesses in action.
I also had the opportunity to meet with three members of EWEF’s Mother’s Group, which was the inspiration for the majority of Women Equipped’s focus. These three women are all running profitable small businesses from their home, allowing them economic independence and flexibility to care for their children.
I was also able to see the wider impact of their work – entire families, including children and the elderly, are benefiting from the profits of these businesses. Children are healthy and in school, bellies full of nutritious food. Family emergencies are more manageable – families have breathing room when inevitable challenges arise. The increase in economic stability has far-reaching effects into the financial, educational, and emotional well-being of all members of the household.
Our focus on creating small groups from within existing community relationships is working. Women who are neighbors and family members are able to provide day-to-day support and encouragement for each other, and extended families and communities benefit.
In short, after visiting the individuals and communities where we are working, I feel great about the direction Women Equipped is heading! We are doing what we set out to do – real good, with long-lasting impact.
I am grateful for the hospitality provided by our in-country director and her family – I enjoyed my time in Addis Ababa immensely, and I am looking forward to my next trip already! Thank you to our supporters and donors – I can assure you that your contributions are making a difference, and we are so thankful for your participation and support.