SPARK partners with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zambia to present Project Concern International's Women Empowered (WE) 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. WE 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 WE 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 sixteen active groups; six groups in Lusaka Province and ten groups in Northwestern Province!
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 PCI's WE Micro-saving training!
My name is Josephine Rugowo. Before being in the WE Micro-savings training program, life was very difficult. I could not pay school fees for my 3 children or be sure they were well fed. After the training, I started saving tiny amounts and making 'flitters' to sell. When our group shared profits, I decided to open a grocery store. I'm thankful for this wonderful opportunity!
Green bean crops ready for market!
Potato crops are planted in large bags to capture and conserve water during drought.