When a single mother enters our Income Generation program, we know that her daughters are watching her closely. Suddenly, she is a working woman. She is going to her seamstress shop, hair salon, fabric market, or weaving center every day. She may wear a uniform. Or put on special clothes for working with wax and dyes. She starts keeping a savings account book to log the money she puts back for emergencies or health care costs. And she is able to pay for school, and buy fresh, good food in the market more frequently. We think that children don't notice these kinds of small, subtle changes, but they do.
In rural Ghana, women who live in poverty and are without a husband are especially vulnerable to living in the margins. Often, they have little education and few rights. They can't own land, and don't have the resources to enter job training or expand a small business. Without education and job training, they often are forced to exist outside of the system. Their children are in and out of school, and can't receive the healthcare needed to thrive.
But when a woman is given some resources to move out of the margins, her children see an increased level of confidence, resilience, and courage. And when daughters see their mothers creating, earning, and providing for them, chances are good that the poverty cycle will be broken. We're continuing to welcome women into our IG program in Ghana, where we provide grants and microloans for job training and business expansion. Communities improve when women are able to provide for their children.
Strong women, your daughters are watching you. And we're inspired by what they are seeing.