The most recent D2D’s Girls’ Empowerment Initiative is a girls income generating activity (IGA). Many girls lack access to training in areas of business management and financial literacy, which often leads to dependency on others, especially older men, for resources. D2D seeks to combat this issue by creating a program in which girls can generate income while learning transferable skills which can be implemented in future business endeavors and other professional settings. When girls learn these skillsets, the impact extends beyond themselves alone. According to UN Women, it is calculated that women could increase their income globally by up to 76% if the employment participation gap and the wage gap between women and men were closed. This is calculated to have a global value of 17 trillion USD.
In 2015, D2D started four women-run IGAs in the areas of chicken rearing, sewing, produce, and baked goods. The groups have now established themselves as fully independent businesses, demonstrating the self-sufficiency and sustainability IGAs can produce. It is D2D’s hope that the girls IGA will follow a similar model, having the capacity to function as an independent business in the near future.
After conducting extensive fieldwork to determine the best business for the girls, a chicken rearing IGA was decided upon as a marketable venture. The IGA will be run by the secondary Girls Club members, who are presently undergoing a comprehensive six-week training program to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to run an IGA. The training consists of lessons including business management, chicken care, budgeting, and marketing. Community partners, including the women’s chicken IGA, D2D intern Joseph Mataya from Mwimba College of Agriculture, and a local veterinary officer, will help lead sessions to ensure the girls receive comprehensive training.
With two training sessions completed, the girls are on their way to becoming future business owners. It is D2D’s hope that the effects of the IGA will be twofold, providing the girls with skills necessary to support themselves as well as the development of their communities.