Bringing Hope to the Women of Entoto
BCDA’s Women’s Empowerment Program is a project that complements the children’s program it also runs. BCDA trains and equips the mothers of the children in its tutoring program for the purpose of enabling them to start their own business and begin to put money aside in a savings account. The majority of these women are affected by HIV/AIDS and often deprived any means of livelihood. However, today, beyond being able to provide for themselves, they are also saving for future investments. Many of the women have been able to take out larger loans from banks, and due to the success of their entrepreneurial endeavors, pay them back within the same year.
“BCDA is an honest organization that is fully given to deliver the best to its beneficiaries. I have seen that it works with 100% integrity,” stated a government signatory in a recent interview.
The Beza Community Development Center provides marginalized women, first and foremost, with a safe sanctuary to connect with other women, social workers, and mentors. After practical life and business skills training, they are given seed money to start or expand an entrepreneurial endeavor. Finally, they are provided ongoing support as part of the Beza community once they have completed the program—many becoming mentors and leaders as CSA decision makers.
Beza Community Development Center not only provides a gated sanctuary for participants, but also emotional and spiritual support.
Mothers with children are welcome within its protected compound where they are always provided a meal and the warmth of camaraderie. Children are cared for while the women find the support they need to thrive.
In addition to counseling and life-skills training, women are given a personal bank book where they record the deposit of a weekly savings, no matter how small.
Once they have learned to consistently put aside the smallest amount each week, they are given a lump sum of seed money to help with the beginnings of a micro-enterprise.
Every week, participants meet in their community with a designated BCDA social worker and a small group of others who are at the same stage in the program.
Every month, participants are provided transport to the BCDA center where they receive training and encouragement from the wider group of leaders and mentors.
How BCDA Works
1. A women is nominated
A community will nominate a woman who is either homeless or unable to care for her children to a government or BCDA social worker.
2. Interviewed and invited
Women are invited to participate, and then vetted by a team of social workers as to whether they would be willing to commit to the one-year program.
3. Trained and mentored
Women come to the BCDA center monthly to receive training. They meet weekly in their community with a small “self-help” group and their social worker.