Unnoticed, is the story of Meenaben, a young wife and mother living in a village in India. She is illiterate and descending deeper into poverty. A literacy program led by another local woman, Sangita, sows the seeds of transformation in Meenaben.
Garment Factory in Arsi, Ethiopia
This not-for-profit project will create employment opportunities by training 300 women, raising their income from less than $1/day to $4/day. In addition to technical training, management and business training will also be provided. The income increase will enable the workers to generate savings, improve housing and allow them to send their children to school.
Customers have already been identified for the production of uniforms, shirts, overalls, and similar products. The total project cost is $105,000 of which $35,000 has already been secured, partially through a micro-loan from the Assela Women’s Credit and Saving Program. Excess revenues from this initiative will be contributed to the Impact Poverty Foundation to develop similar projects in other communities in Ethiopia. This is a locally owned initiative. They need a ‘hand up’ to achieve sustainability which will be achieved within one year.
This project will employ 200 workers who will improve their personal incomes from $1.00 per day to $4.00 per day. Over 5 years this farm will generate $1,000,000 in revenue $300,000 in after tax profit. The regional government and village elders have voluntarily agreed to donate 10% of all revenue to charitable works in the local community. Estimated incremental impact on the local economy over 5 years from the combination of increased worker wages and charitable dollars will be well over $1,000,000 in local purchasing power against a total project start-up cost of just $250,000.
This project was completed in a remote tribal area of India where the previous illiteracy rate was nearly 100%. Several years ago, after being motivated by a new literacy program, the villagers agreed to donate land to start a small children’s school. The school has produced many graduates over the years who have achieved a 5th Grade practical literacy level. However, one young lady, Chirala, has qualified to enter college and has aspirations to become a chartered accountant. This is a major achievement for a community that originally had no idea what chartered accountancy was.