Villagers in rural communities face daily challenges of extreme poverty. We work with villagers to teach principles for solving problems vs. fixing issues with temporary solutions.
The villagers in Ouelessebougou are eager to become self-sufficient; however, they all too often lack the resources or training to achieve their goals. Although our primary focus in on delivering health and education programs, we have a vested interested in self-reliance, economic development, and business opportunities that lift villagers out of poverty.
Investing in Self Reliance
Starting in 1995, one of our program objectives was economic development. From offering small micro-loans to revolving village loans to facilitating economic committees, we provided opportunities for villagers to reach greater levels of self-reliance.
In the mid 2010’s, we realigned our programmatic mission to focus primarily on health and education objectives. These initiatives are vital components for growth and development-outputs. Their dual role gives them a central place in achieving prosperty and self-reliance. Although we no longer have a formal economic development program, we still partner on projects and training that improve the livelihoods of villagers in Ouelessebougou.
One of the keys to our longevity is our commitment to helping the villagers help themselves. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you will feed him a lifetime.” By providing sustainable resources and training, we empower villagers to create their own solutions not only for today, but for the future.
Programs are designed to meet the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to achieve self-reliance. Each project is locally vetted by our Malian staff to achieve a lasting impact. Training is key; therefore, our self-reliance programs fall under our education initiatives. Our Mali staff provides one-on-one or group training to help participants learn principles for success. Projects have included working with individuals on neighborhood self reliance groups, small businesses, and community service.
In the past, economic development was a primary focus of our programmatic efforts, specifically investments of small business loans. As the needs have evolved, our efforts have shifted to a more education-based approach which trains villagers to start and grow their own businesses.
In January 2020, we partnered with Interweave Solutions on business training for five of our partner villages, representatives of the Ouelessebougou Youth Association and Women’s association. Lynn Curtis facilitated the workshop focused on principles to improve the participant’s home, personal, and financial life. Each of the attendees received their official Master of Business in the Streets (MBS) certificates. Additionally, three leaders from the Ouelessebougou community were trained and will continue the program for other villages in the area.
During the 2021 – 2022 program year, we will expand our efforts to train more villagers and facilitate additional self-reliance groups throughout the Ouelessebougou community.
Lift Villagers Out of Poverty
The villagers in Ouelessebougou are resilient and resourceful people. Your gift will provide the training and resources they need to lift their families out of poverty. Together we can inspire individuals to achieve their dreams by giving them the training and education they need to succeed.