Women’s Income Generation
One of the largest part of Joliba’s activities has been providing small loans to rural women, so that they can start small enterprises. This began with a loan of £80 for vegetable seed to 22 women in 1992, and grew into a fund which has generated funds for some 12,000 women in eleven districts. Most of the groups have now become autonomous and manage these funds themselves. Our work continues to support women to ‘save for change’ so that they can start small enterprises using their own resources.
With small amounts of money, women are able to start small enterprises such as raising sheep, goats or pigs; buying seeds to plant better and more varied crops; growing vegetables or starting small market activities such as buying and selling goods, setting up food stalls on market days, or pressing peanut, shea or neem oil.
The small amounts of income raised make a big difference to very poor families. It means that women can provide a much better and more varied diet for their children; they can buy soap, clothing, and materials the children need for school; and they can take children to the health centres when they are ill, often for the first time. Women’s ability to transport goods from greater distances has brought a wider variety of nutritional food to the area, such as dried fish or vegetables which cannot be grown locally.