Livelihoods Improvement Program
Targeting those in the greatest need, our livelihoods improvement projects are focused on empowerment rather than providing handouts. We do not provide the fish – we teach our community partners how to fish! Here is a snapshot of our livelihoods improvement interventions
Started with seed funding from the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and the RUSH Foundation, our social enterprise is now self-funding. We provide micro-loans to people that are not very likely to access funding from the traditional financial institutions. The uniqueness about our loans is that we do not require physical collateral – because this is precisely the reason the people we serve cannot get loans from banks! We extend our loans to groups (not individuals) – and it is the group connectedness that creates social security for our loans. And we don’t just give loans; we also train the groups that receive our loans in basic entrepreneurship and skills of managing group dynamics. These groups also don’t just do business: they also deliver life-saving information on HIV/AIDS prevention and care to communities. Our currently funded groups include women living with HIV, young family heads and former drug addicts.
Supporting orphans and other vulnerable children (OVCs) has over the years been one of our flagship projects. We provide a comprehensive package; equipping them with vocational skills training (tailoring, knitting, metal fabrication, motorcycle repair and hairdressing). After the vocational skill trainings, we place them with local businesses as apprentices, and we continuously support them with mentorship and entrepreneurship trainings. Younger OVCs are supported with school fees and scholastic materials, and support their caretakers (usually grandmothers) are supported with start-up capital to run small businesses. On top of this, we offer psychosocial support (guidance and counseling) to all the OVCs under our care.