Within the women’s empowerment cornerstone here at Determined to Develop, we support four local Income Generating Activities (IGA) which primarily aim to increase financial security among some of the areas most disadvantaged women. An IGA is an economic activity which is pursued with the aim of improving the quality of life in poor households. An IGA often involves the production of goods or services, are group based and are often targeted to women, since poverty usually hits women harder than men. It has been suggested that men, often the household earners, choose to spend less of their income outside of the household environment than their female counterparts. Therefore, many IGAs aim to create economic opportunities for women in particular as this can strengthen household financial security, boost living standards and can create a platform for women’s empowerment (Project Counseling Service, 2013).
Since September, D2D has supported each of the four groups made up of widowed or similarly disadvantaged women. This support has been in the form of helping to set up each activity, training sessions, providing start-up costs, ongoing weekly check-ins and marketing advice. The four IGAs are: baked goods, sewed products such as bags and laptop cases, vegetable growing and chicken rearing. We would like to share some of the recent successes from the chicken rearing IGA with you!
The Mponela Widows Group have been working together for 3 years. Since September, the group, with the help of local and UK volunteers, have built a structure designed to rear chickens in and keep food stored safely. They received training with a local expert about rearing healthy chickens, avoiding disease and feeding guidelines. In March, after much preparation, the group and the house became ready for the first batch of chicks to be delivered. As a pilot, the group began with 25 chicks with the idea to expand in the future after the first trial.
D2D is pleased to report that out of the 25 chickens, 24 were sold to local members of the community as chickens are in high demand in the village areas. This shows great potential for the future as the group made a fantastic 72,000 Kwacha, which is around $100.
This project is promising and will have a positive impact on each member going forward. The women are extremely happy, excited and thankful for Determined to Develop’s assistance with this project and we wish them even more success with their next cycle of chickens.
Tawonga chomene (We thank you)!