SPARK partners with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia to present the Global Communities Women Empowered (GCWE) Savings program. This Micro-savings Initiative provides the means for individuals and groups to create economic sustainability within their families and communities. Training participants form groups and learn how to collectively save money and invest in income-generating activities to help realize financial goals. GCWE groups then elect their own leaders, decide on their own rules, and give each member an opportunity to practice public speaking. Once a group has completed initial training and are managing themselves independently, basic business skills training is added.
God calls us to live in connected community, so we believe relationships are key! We work closely with ELC-Zambia's Pastor Doreen Mwanza, the GCWE Initiative Micro-savings Coordinator and trainer, Jonathon Singyangwe in Zambia. To date we've had the privilege to support Pastor Doreen and Jonathan in the training of six active groups in Lusaka Province, twenty-two groups in four districts of Northwestern Province, and seven groups in three districts of the Copperbelt Province! Ambitious plans are unfolding to continue the training of these groups and develop new groups.
Their success stories are many! These groups have undertaken such projects as the growing and selling of a variety of cash crops, raising and selling chickens and goats, making school uniforms, and paying school fees for families unable to provide the funds to do so. However, the greatest benefit is each group member's increased ability to stabilize their own family's spiritual, economic, and physical health. Many are able to provide for their children's education!
Spiritual wholeness is nurtured through these groups as women hear the Good News, become vibrant disciples of Christ, and grow in their faith. Each group’s weekly (or bi-weekly) meetings include Christian education and discussion. So far, thirteen groups have received The Holy Bible in their own language!
WE groups also become a platform for members to increase their confidence, exercise leadership skills, form social networks, raise awareness about important topics, and act collectively to improve their lives and communities. Each group’s weekly (or bi-weekly) meetings include discussion of their plans for addressing health issues such as malnutrition, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and COVID.
To ensure sustainability, WE groups are designed to gradually operate more and more independently with the goal of becoming self-sustaining groups that thrive far beyond the program time frame. Your investment through SPARK will nurture wholeness, health, and vitality in individuals, families, and communities for decades—and generations—to come!
It all begins with GC's WE Micro-saving training!
Rebecca and her husband (in Norhtwestern Province) had a difficult time paying the school fees needed for their children. After joining and learning in the GCWE savings group, Rebecca was able to take out a loan and start selling popcorn and roasted nuts! Bit by bit the family's situation improved. They were soon able to afford the school fees and have 3 meals a day! She built her outdoor shop (shown here) and began selling tomatoes that she and her husband had grown. Rebecca's plans include extending her shop and looking for more land to grow a variety of vegetables to feed their family and to sell.
She shares, “[I] am very happy about the GCWE program because it has helped me [learn] the importance of saving and starting a small business as I am able to support my family!"
Green bean crops ready for market!
Potato crops are planted in large bags to capture and conserve water during drought.
If you would like to empower individuals, families, and communities in Zambia,
please consider a donation.