An increasing number of women are becoming the heads of their household, because of conflict, bereavement or displacement. Faced with generating a livelihood and with domestic responsibilities, including caring for children or elderly, they can struggle to make ends meet.
Our Learning for Livelihoods project can help them develop sustainable small businesses to help support their families.
In 2016 we started the first cohort on our Learning for Livelihoods programme, to support the poorest of women with dependents in Somaliland, Puntland and Central Southern Somalia and help them and their families out of extreme poverty.
The project also targets some vulnerable old men and young boys and any other people the community identified as being in desperate need.
Participants firstly gain essential basic literacy and numeracy. They are then taught business management skills and go on to vocational training in the trade of their choice. Skills such as basket weaving, tailoring, hairdressing and bee-keeping are popular and have a proven market in their community. Women who are small traders are better able to keep track of their buyers purchases on credit and ensure they get the correct price for their goods as well as manage their stock.
We are therefore pleased to announce that 958 women have so far graduated from the Learning for Livelihoods project. We are now working in partnership with Dahabshiil bank to enable these women to obtain a micro-loan to enable them to start or develop their business further.
So far as a pilot of 20 people have benefited from the micro-loan scheme of $250 (5,000 Shilling) per person and more will be joining the scheme in the next few months.