Africare’s IEEWEP Income Generating Project Changes Lives of Women in Chad

In support of the Chadian Government’s National Policy of Poverty Reduction, which focuses on targeting economically at-risk women, Africare is working in two of Chad’s eight districts, Pende and Nya,in the sub-prefectures of Doba and Bebedja, to change the lives of women in the area. Approximately 157,150 women live in the Penda and Nya areas, and nearly 2,500 are direct beneficiaries of Africare’s Initiative for the Economic Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs Project (IEEWEP), a project generously funded by ExxonMobil.  In partnership with local governments and communities, the project has organized 45 groups of women into associations and cooperatives, with an average of 15 members per group. The three-year project, which began in November 2008, aims to reach 100 associations total. Key group activities include agro-processing, market gardening, tailoring, animal husbandry, and food services. To supplement these activities, Africare delivers a comprehensive package that focuses on developing the beneficiaries’ literacy, technical, business and financial management skills. Africare’s goal is to contribute to the alleviation of poverty and food insecurity in the regions by increasing household incomes of beneficiary members by 80% over the three year period of IEEWEP. To date, household incomes have increased by 32.7% and the income of cooperative and association groups by an average of 417%.

In the third year of implementation, Africare is seeking support to launch a vocational training center in Doba to offer basic training in literacy and numeracy, as well as business management skills. The proposed training center will also serve as a central location for administering and monitoring the development of project supervisors (trainers,). By the end of the project, Africare hopes to fully equip the center  with appropriate low maintenance tools to provide hands-on experiments for group activities. Africare also hopes to capitalize on the presence of 80 million Karite trees in the region to produce top quality organic Shea nut butter that is grown, processed, packaged, and exported by IEEWEP to U.S. and European Skin Care markets.

As one local beneficiary Madame Augustine Naide noted “IEEWEP’s financing to my association resulted in a great benefit for my family. Thanks to the little I draw from my activities and from those of the group, my family and I can afford three meals a day.”  IEEWEP is changing lives, and continues to seek future sponsors of this great program for the women of Doba and Bebedja