Most women in Africa struggle to make ends meet not because they don’t work hard enough — they work sunup to sundown, trying to sell fuel or purchasing a few items from the market to sell in their village, or doing neighbors’ washing, or selling whatever food they grow in their garden — but because they don’t receive fair wages or fair opportunities.
By partnering with pastors in Sierra Leone, our desire is to encourage women in the church as they seek to support their families. We do this by offering a microloan through the pastors. The pastors train up the women in business skills, and each week the women give back a little of their loan. For the first few months, however, whatever money they give back is put into a “pot” and once a month, each women receives that “pot” as a free gift, a boost, towards her business. Once a woman has received the pot, she then begins to pay back double — partially towards the pot, and partially towards her loan. Once every woman has received the pot, it starts over again, long after the loan has been paid off.