Newest Projects!

Meetourpartners

 

The projects below were approved at the

October 2017 RSWR board meeting.

 

22 projects were approved which will help improve the lives of 630 women and their families.

 

Women Development and Education Trust
Theni District, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Activities:  Tamarind paste, Fried chicken, Wet flour grinding, Masala powder, Vegetable vending

Beneficiaries: 25 Dalit women in 5 villages

WDET works with Dalit families who are living below the poverty line in villages along the border between the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They are daily wage earners, but their income is never enough to meet their expenses. Many of the men spend all of their income on alcohol, so it is left to the women to support the family. Often the men became mentally or physically disabled or they die because of their drinking, and this puts an added burden on the women.

The women are forced to migrate to Kerala state to work on plantations there to make an income. They leave their homes at 5:30 a.m. and don’t return until after 6:00 p.m. While they are gone, their children are left unattended. But even then, they don’t make enough money to run their families, and they must pay to hire jeep owners to drive them back and forth to Kerala. They end up borrowing money from money-lenders at high rates of interest just to make ends meet.

This project has been conceived in consultation with the women beneficiaries to help them make an income in their own villages so they don’t have to travel to Kerala for work. The women will borrow $140 to $193 depending on the business they will undertake. They expect to net $71 to $115 per month after expenses and repayment, depending on their business. They will also save $2 per month.

 

Sigira Friends Women Group
Sare, Kenya

 

Activities:  Dairy, Poultry, Vegetables and Fruits, Grocery kiosks, Maize buying and selling

Beneficiaries:  23 poor Quaker women

This is a Quaker group. All of the women belong to Sigira Village Meeting which is part of Bware Yearly Meeting. They meet twice a month. The women live in a community that has many problems. There is high unemployment, high poverty levels, and poor health standards, especially for women. All of the members are currently involved in small businesses. The RSWR grant will help them expand their current businesses.

The women are currently participating in a savings scheme whereby each woman contributes $5 to a group fund each month. The collected money can be borrowed by members for family emergency needs. In addition, the women also have a supplies “merry-go-round”. Each woman brings a kitchen essential such as sugar, salt, cooking oil, etc. to each meeting and it is given to a different woman each time.

Before undertaking the RSWR project, the group will first arrange training for themselves on skills in each business area as well as financial management. Then they will receive loans of $120 to $250 depending on their business activity. They expect to net $63 to $104 per month after expenses and loan repayment.

 

Rural Organisation for Social and Education Trust
Ariyalur District, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Activities: Vegetable vending, Greens vending, Coconut vending

Beneficiaries: 30 poor women living in slums

The target women for this project live in 3 slums in the town of Ariyalur. They currently work as domestic help in the homes of rich people, but they are not paid well. They cannot afford health care or higher education for their children. Some of the children are also working in the homes of the rich.

This project was created with the input of the beneficiaries. The vending activities were chosen because there is a good market for them in the area and the women can walk around with their products and sell them to people waiting at the bus stand or in other crowded places. Each activity will be done by 10 women.

The women will first be trained for 5 days on vending skills and then they will be loaned $89 to $134, depending on the business they choose to do. They expect to net $62 to $121 per month depending on their business.

 

National Education and Economic Development Trust
Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Activities: Cashew nuts value-added products, Vegetable and fruit vending, Petty shops

Beneficiaries: 30 Dalit women agricultural workers

The beneficiaries of this project are Dalit women farmers and agricultural workers. They depend on agriculture for their livelihood, but there has been a drought since 2003 and all of the ground water and open wells have dried up. Consequently, the people do not have enough agricultural work. The men are mostly all alcoholics and spend their income on alcohol and other useless expenses. Also, because they are alcoholics, they often die at a young age. Therefore, the women are left to care for the children alone on their own income – both those who are widowed and those who have alcoholic husbands. Often the women experience sexual harassment at their work places, but they must put up with it to keep their employment, as pitiful as it is.

The beneficiaries have helped to design this project. They have chosen these activities because they have a good market in the local community and they give a good return with minimal investment. They expect to make double or triple what they are making now. They will borrow $92 to $185 depending on their business activity and expect to net $182 to $269 per month, again depending on their business. They will save 5% of their monthly earnings and the rest will be for their family’s upkeep and welfare.

 

Integrated Agricultural Development Program
Port Loko District, Northern Province, Sierra Leone

 

Activities: Rice, cassava, fruit, vegetables

Beneficiaries: 48 poor rural women farmers

This project was begun in 2004, at the end of the civil war, and was registered in 2006. During the war, many women and girls in the community were either killed or were taken by the rebels to be their wives. The village was looted and burned. Survivors fled to nearby towns and made their living through prostitution or begging. Many members of this project were young girls during the war who later returned to their village and began this project to try to reconstruct their lives. In 2015 the village was hit with another disaster in the form of the Ebola virus which killed some of the members.

48 women will be involved in this project. They will work in 6 groups of 8 so that educated members can help uneducated ones. Before loans are disbursed, all of the members will be trained in integrated agriculture and micro-credit. Each member will receive a loan of $102 and will choose which agricultural products she wishes to grow and sell. All of the products have approximately the same income. The women expect to make $149 per month after expenses, repayment and savings. With this income, a woman should be able to support her family and pay school fees for at least 3 of her children.

 

Dr. Gordon Memorial Trust
Thanjavur District, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Activities: Milk value added products, Mat weaving, Idly and dosa vending, Sari & women garments sales, Tailoring

Beneficiaries: 27 poor women in three villages

Dr. Gordon Memorial Trust is a past partner of RSWR with 2 projects completed successfully. So far, 132 women have benefitted from the first project and 102 women have benefitted from the second project.

The beneficiaries of this project live near the Cauvery River. Agriculture in the area depends on the water from this river, but in a recent dispute between the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Tamil Nadu lost its water rights. Since that time, agricultural activity has greatly decreased and the landless agricultural workers have had to find other employment. The people have migrated to nearby cities and towns looking for work. Migration causes lots of problems for families because children and old people are often left at home alone for long periods of time. In addition, the migrants find that their income from jobs in the cities is inadequate to take care of their families. Therefore, they have asked DGMT to help them find alternative employment which can be done in their own villages. The women beneficiaries themselves have suggested these income-generating activities.

The women will be trained for two days and then they will borrow $124 to $178, depending on the business they have chosen. They expect to net $62 to $116 per month, again depending on their business.

 

Iraivi Trust
Pudukkottai District, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Activities: Organic greens and vegetable growing, Thatch making, Flower vending

Beneficiaries: 30 poor women – 10 marginal farmers and 20 landless peasants

Iraivi Trust is a new, woman-headed organization. The Managing Trustee, Mrs. Rengayanayaki, has worked for RSWR past partner Success Trust and other NGOs in the area for 11 years, so she has good experience in development work.

The target beneficiaries of this project are low caste people who make their living from agriculture. However, because of drought and overuse of chemical inputs, the lands are not producing as they used to. The marginal farmers aren’t growing enough crops to sustain themselves and the landless agricultural workers are not getting enough work. Therefore, they are being forced to migrate to other areas to look for work, but this is very hard on the families when they have to migrate. It is especially hard for the women-headed families. This project was conceived at the request of the women in the self help groups facilitated by IT. The women want to find income-generating projects they can do that will make enough income in their own villages so they do not have to migrate.

The women will be trained on basic business skills and skills needed in their chosen activity. Then they will borrow $115 to $166 depending on their business. They expect to net $84 to $145 per month.

 

Social Health Improvement of Women Association
Madurai District, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Activities: Tea stalls, Fish sales, Garments vending, Idly vending, Vegetable vending, Flower vending

Beneficiaries: 28 young Dalit and low caste widows

The target area of this project is dry and drought prone. Even farmers who own land are not making a profit, and the situation of the landless laborers is worse. The young widows who are trying to support their families have a very difficult time. They are exploited economically and sexually by the dominant landowners, but they depend upon these landowners for their jobs, so they must endure it. The young widows in the self help groups supported by SHIWA have asked for help in starting their own businesses so they can escape their exploitive situation, and they have chosen the businesses to be undertaken.

The beneficiaries will first be trained for two days on project activities. They will also participate in a 3 day entrepreneurship development program given by experts. The women will then borrow $136 to $156 to begin their businesses. They expect to net $45 to $99 per month, depending on the business they choose.

Knowledge and Strength for Emancipation Trust
Trichirapalli District, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Activities: Pottery, Basketmaking, Coir rope making

Beneficiaries: 25 landless Dalit and low-caste women

The target area for this project is drought prone and there hasn’t been rain for several years. The people that KSET works with were traditionally craftspeople, making pottery, baskets and coir rope. But they gave up this work many years ago and began to earn their living as agricultural laborers. Now agriculture has failed them and they are asking KSET to help them take up their traditional crafts again. They all have experience in their individual crafts and so will only need skill upgrade training. These traditional products are enjoying a resurgence in interest by the general public, so there is a good market for their wares.

The beneficiaries will first be trained for two days on project activities. Then they will receive 2 days of skill upgrade training in their chosen craft. The women will borrow $152 to $181, depending on their craft. They expect to net $62 to $94 per month.

 

Foundation for Women Welfare and Development
Port Loko District, Northern Province, Sierra Leone

 

Activities: Agriculture, goat rearing, and petty trading

Beneficiaries: 34 landless and Ebola affected widows

 

This group received RSWR grants in 2008 and 2016. The previous projects were successful and now they want to expand to nearby villages and help women there. The community where they are located was badly hit by the Ebola virus. As a result, it was locked down and isolated by the government and movement by the people was restricted. This caused the farmers to lose about 70% of their agricultural products. They were forced to sell their animals (goats, sheep, chickens) to make money to buy basic foodstuff, and so now there is also a scarcity of animals in the community. Ebola relief efforts on the part of the Sierra Leone government and outside groups are mainly concentrated in the cities and do not reach the remote villages.

In addition to the after-effects of Ebola, the people of this community have also lost farmland which was taken away from them by the local authorities and given to a foreign company called Genesis Farm.

This project will provide loans for 34 landless Ebola affected widows to engage in agriculture, goat rearing, or petty trading (her choice). The women will receive loans of $113 to $200 depending on their activity. They expect to net $47 to $59 per month, again depending on their business. From this income, the women will save $5 per month.

 

 

Anjaiah Paturu Seva Society
Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India

 

Activities: Cotton bags and other sewn and embroidered products

Beneficiaries: 20 Dalit and tribal women

The target area of this project has a population of 1,140 with 715 Dalits and 128 tribal people. The main occupation is working for daily wages either in agriculture or construction. However, this does not give the people a sustainable income. APSS has recently trained 30 women on cotton bag making and helped 10 of them purchase sewing machines to set up their own businesses with loans from their self help groups. They are asking for funds from RSWR to set up the other 20 already-trained women in business as well. Additionally, they will train 100 more women and give them loans later from the repaid funds. In addition to sewing, the women will also be trained in knitting, hand embroidery, and fabric painting.

APSS will actively seek markets for the cotton products both locally and in other cities and states. They already have commitments from several businesses and are seeking a contract from the government student hostels to sew bed covers and pillowcases. The NGO will also assist the women in working together collectively to purchase raw materials in bulk so that they can maximize their profits.

The 20 women will each be loaned $186 to purchase a sewing machine, furniture, and an embroidery tool kit. They expect a net monthly income of $63 after expenses and loan repayment.

 

Women in Crisis Farmer’s Association
Western Rural District, Sierra Leone

 

Activities: Rice, Groundnuts, Vegetables

Beneficiaries: 27 poor women farmers

This project is located in the Six Mile Community which is a rural area near Freetown. There are numerous guest houses and social centers in the community where the sex trade flourishes. Because of the poverty of the people, many women and young girls have joined the sex trade or they sell marijuana to make a living. Despite their illegal activities, the women still live in poverty and can never get ahead. In addition, the women working as prostitutes are likely to develop sex-related health problems and those selling marijuana are often arrested and jailed. The Coordinator of this project, Fatamata Mansaray, was a rural farmer who witnessed this situation and decided to help the young women find a better alternative to making a living. She began WCFA to help the local women and girls learn to be successful farmers.

WCFA has a committee structure that helps their members succeed. There is a village development committee which includes the village chief, the chairlady of the group, the youth leader of the village, and 5 other members. This group provides agricultural land for the project, gives advice, and settles disputes that arise. The 27 beneficiaries of this project will be organized into groups of 5 or 6 and will be given agricultural inputs such as seeds, tools and fertilizer to carry out their farming activities. They will also be given training and other technical services from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security. Each woman will receive agricultural inputs worth $150. She can expect to net $49 to $56 per month after expenses, repayment and savings.

 

 

Mamaka Women Association
Tonkolili District, Northern Province, Sierra Leone

 

Activities: Groundnuts and Cassava

Beneficiaries: 74 poor women

MWA is a locally based organization that works with deprived women, orphans and neglected children. They feel that groundnut and cassava production is a profitable business that will help release the women beneficiaries from poverty if they only had the right tools, quality seeds, and training and skills in producing these crops. Therefore, this project will seek to provide these things to the beneficiaries.

The 74 women will be divided into two groups. Each group would receive 25 bushels of groundnuts, 125 bundles of cassava stems, and 37 hoes and 37 cutlasses. Each woman would also receive $34 in cash. The total value of these inputs per person is $68 and this is the amount that each woman would be responsible for repaying over a period of a year. They hope to net $42 per month after expenses, repayment and savings.

 

 

Tagrin Vegetable Women Farmers
Port Loko District, Northern Province, Sierra Leone

 

Activities: Vegetable gardening

Beneficiaries: 34 poor women farmers

The Tagrin community is located along the main route linking the Lungi International Airport to the capital city of Freetown. There are many travelers along this route and so it is a good place to do business. This group received a grant from RSWR in 2016 and that project was very successful. 30 women received loans to do vegetable gardening and all but two repaid the loans in full. 10 additional women have received loans from the repaid funds. One important function of the previous RSWR grant was the encouragement of savings. Every woman still saves 67¢ every month and so now they have quite a lot saved. The cumulative total for the group is $2,346. The success of the first RSWR project has motivated many new women to join the group and ask for loans. On behalf of these new women, TVWG is seeking another grant so that they may give them loans at a faster pace than the current revolving fund allows.

The 34 new women will grow 37 acres of fruits and vegetables: watermelons, tomatoes, eggplant, okra, cucumbers, onions, caw peas, peppers, ukase, lettuce, carrots, greens, potatoes and groundnuts. Each woman will borrow $100 to $180 depending on the amount of land she cultivates and the crops she grows. She will repay her loan in 6 months with approximately 8% interest. Monthly incomes after repayment will range from $50 to $54, depending on the amount of land cultivated and the crops grown.

 

 

Lumpa 555 Women Association
Waterloo, Western Rural District, Sierra Leone

 

 

Activities: Petty trading in palm oil and pepper

Beneficiaries: 39 poor women farmers

The community where this project will take place is called Lumpa-555 village. The target beneficiaries are 39 women who make their living from petty trading. Most of them are widows. Many of their husbands and other family members died during the Ebola crisis. During the Ebola crisis, people were not able to go to the markets to buy and sell and so these women lost their livelihood and spent any savings they had. Although they were poor before, now they are destitute. The women have already had pre-training in how to manage a micro-enterprise project and they have appointed officers to manage the project from among their numbers. They have also suggested the commodities to be sold and the repayment schedule and interest rate.

Each woman will be loaned $82 to buy and sell pepper (both fresh and dried) and palm oil. Each woman is expected to make $16 per week. She will pay her loan and interest, and make a savings deposit at the end of each week. This schedule was suggested by the women so that they wouldn’t have to pay a large amount at one time. Her net weekly income will be $11 after repayment and savings. The women will be allowed to withdraw from their savings for approved emergency needs such as to pay school fees for their children. However, they must justify withdrawals to the treasurer of the group. At the end of the year, if they women make no savings withdrawals, they will have each saved $167.

 

 

Jitahidi Women Group
Wodanga, Kenya

 

Activities: Omena (small fish) selling, Hair salons, Maize buying and selling, Poultry buying and selling, Firewood selling, Village kiosks

Beneficiaries: 21 poor women of various denominations

Jitahidi is a Swahili word meaning “putting in some effort”; thus Jitahidi Women Group is a group of 21 business women that are very hard working. The group was formed with the aim of nurturing friendships and building business networks. The members work to free the local women from poverty by helping one another build stable businesses and standing up against discrimination against women and girls in the community. The members of this group belong to different denominations, among them the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, Kenya African Divine Church, Quakers, Serve International Ministries, African Israel Nineveh Church and the Salvation Army.

The women are already engaged in business and they have received numerous trainings from Kenya Women Enterprise, the Kenyan Department of Social Services, Care International and Farm Africa. They will use the RSWR funds to “scale up” their existing small businesses. They will take loans of $147 to $284 depending on their business. They expect to net $102 to $141 per month after expenses and loan repayment.

The women currently participate in a table banking activity whereby they each make a monthly contribution of $2 per woman to the group treasury. This practice will continue but the contributions will become “shares” with a minimum monthly share contribution of $2 and a maximum of $10 per member. The share contributions will be a member’s investment in the group and will earn her dividends annually.

 

Kisangula Upendo Women Group
Hamisi, Kenya

 

Activities: Omena, Maize, Vegetables, Second-hand clothes, Mandazi (tea buns), Poultry, Grocery kiosks, Firewood

Beneficiaries: 25 women from various denominations and two tribes

This group was founded in 2013 by a group of women who wanted to venture into small businesses so that they could gain some economic independence. In the process they have also built up their confidence and are learning to stand up for their rights and work against discrimination against women and girls in their community. The members of the group belong to several different denominations including the Pentecostal Assemblies of God, African Israel Neneveh Church, Quakers, and the Salvation Army. They are also drawn from two different tribes, the Luhya and Nandi.

The women are already engaged in business and they have chosen their businesses because they have a good market in the local community. The group has been trained on three occasions by one of the largest microcredit companies in Kenya –Kenya Women Finance Trust. The treasurer has been trained by Care International on proper accounts keeping. They will borrow $152 to $220 depending on their business. They expect to net $69 to $132 per month after expenses and repayment.

The women currently participate in a table banking activity whereby they each make a monthly contribution of $2 per woman to the group treasury. This practice will continue but the contributions will become “shares” with a minimum monthly share contribution of $2 and a maximum of $10 per member. The share contributions will be a member’s investment in the group and will earn her dividends annually.

 

Juhudi Women Group
Maragoli, Kenya

 

Activities: Vegetables, Second-hand clothes, Grocery kiosks, Charcoal

Beneficiaries: 20 women of various Christian denominations and one Muslim

Juhudi Women Group is a group of business women that are working together to improve their lives. The community where the women live has multiple problems for women and girls. Wife battering is common, there is a high rate of illiteracy, and women are expected to stay in the home and not participate in community life. The JWG women hope to help overcome these evils by venturing into business themselves and supporting their girl children to get an education. The members of this group belong to several different Christian denominations and one member is a Muslim.

The group has undergone several trainings conducted by various organizations, including: Kenya Women Enterprise, Department of Social Services, Care International and Farm Africa. They are serious about their businesses and are at the market 5 days a week from early morning to late evening. This project will help them upgrade their current businesses. They will borrow $151 to $233 depending on their business. They expect to net $80 to $126 per month after expenses and repayment.

The women currently participate in a table banking activity whereby they each make a monthly contribution of $2 per woman to the group treasury. This practice will continue but the contributions will become “shares” with a minimum monthly share contribution of $2 and a maximum of $10 per member. The share contributions will be a member’s investment in the group and will earn her dividends annually.

 

Multipurpose Association for Rural Upliftment Technology and Human Integrity
Sivagangai District, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Activities: Tiffin stalls, Vegetable vending, Ironing carts, Tailoring, Fish and dry fish vending

Beneficiaries: 24 poor single women in SHG

MARUTHI just finished a project in partnership with RSWR that was very successful. Now, they would like to undertake a similar project in a nearby area. Poor women without any male support will be the beneficiaries of this project. Currently, the beneficiaries are working as household maids for rich families but they make very little money. They cannot afford to send their children to school or provide them with health care, and some of their children are working as household maids too.

MARUTHI has already trained many of the women in tailoring and other job skills. The women will undertake one of the 5 businesses listed. They will first be trained for 10 days on their chosen activity. Then they will borrow $157 to $188, depending on the business they choose. They expect to net $75 to $84 per month after expenses, loan repayment, and savings.

 

People’s Educational and Economic Development Society
Vellore District, Tamil Nadu, India

 

Activity: Brick Kiln

Beneficiaries: 24 Irula tribal women

PEEDS is a woman headed organization with all women members. They are from the grassroots community themselves and so they have a clear understanding of the problems of the underprivileged in the rural communities. PEEDS has recently completed a project in partnership with RSWR which was very successful. So far 80 women have benefitted with loans, 30 original beneficiaries and 50 new women who received loans from the repaid funds.

The target beneficiaries of this new project are Irula tribal women. These women were working as bonded laborers in brick kilns, but they were released by the government of Tamil Nadu with help from NGOs such as PEEDS. However, the situation of the women is hardly better now than it was under the bonded labor system. They work long hours in brick kilns for meager wages. Often the owners of the kilns will cheat the workers because they do not have the math skills to calculate what they are owed, so the owners pay them less. The women in the self help groups organized by PEEDS have asked that they be supported to start their own brick kilns where they would be the owners and take the profits as well as the daily wages. They have vast experience in doing the work of making bricks.

The women will first be trained on entrepreneurship, account keeping, marketing, and the formation of their own revolving loan fund. Then they will receive a loan of $194 per person. They will pool their funds to buy equipment and lease land to start a brick kiln. They will be able to set up the kiln and make the first batch of bricks within 45 days. Income will come both from daily labor in the kiln and also from the profit realized when the bricks are sold. They expect to net $106 per month after expenses and loan repayment.

 

 

Jiinue Self Help Group
Vihiga, Kenya

 

Activities: Fish, Maize, Hair salon, Charcoal, Secondhand clothes, Buying and selling of poultry, Vitenge material (traditional African cloth) buying and selling, Vegetables, Mandazi baking and selling, Firewood

Beneficiaries: 25 women from various Christian denominations

This group began in 2010 with a table banking scheme whereby they each contributed 50¢ per month. Now, the monthly contribution has grown to $2 and the women have begun to make loans to group members to improve their small businesses. Group members come from various churches around the area. The chairlady is a Quaker.

The community where JSHG is located has the same problems as many rural Kenyan communities: ignorance and illiteracy of women and girls, high poverty levels, food insecurity, poor health, high unemployment, and overdependence of women on their husbands for survival. Rural Kenyan women are not allowed to own or inherit property and they have little or no access to education. Yet it is women who have the greatest responsibility to take care of their families. JSHG members have decided it is time to achieve financial independence and take a leadership role in their families and their communities.

All of the women are already involved in small-scale businesses. They will use the RSWR funds to “scale-up” their existing businesses. They will borrow $132 to $236 depending on their business. They expect to net $89 to $137 per month after repayment and savings.

 

Khaka Women Group
Chwele, Kenya

 

Activities: Cereals buying and selling, Vegetable selling, Secondhand clothes selling, Poultry rearing, Village kiosks, Firewood selling, Tomatoes buying and selling, Eggs buying and selling, Fruit selling.

Beneficiaries: 25 women from various Christian denominations

The women in Khaka Women Group decided to start their group because women in rural Kenya are often left out of community involvement and leadership. They are marginalized and discriminated against and don’t have access to education, training, and community services. They are not allowed to own land and are sidelined in family and community decision making. They say, “women are invisible and conspicuously absent in community activities such as trainings, meetings and cultural activities.” They believe that if women become involved in business, it will benefit not only their families, but also their community. The group has registered under the Department of Gender and Social Services and has had training on how to do farming and business.

The women have chosen the businesses they will undertake because they have a good market in the local community. They will receive loans of $147 to $185 depending on their business. They expect to net $69 to $121 per month after expenses and repayment.

The women currently participate in a table banking activity whereby they each make a minimum monthly share contribution of $2 and a maximum of $10 per member. The share contributions will continue, will be a member’s investment in the group and will earn her dividends annually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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