Happy International Women's Day!
This International Women’s Day we are celebrating women who lead. We celebrate their ingenuity in problem-solving. We declare their courage in building better lives for themselves, their kiddos, and their communities. We honor their boldness in trying new and hard things like starting a business and going into ministry. Something big is happening with Tirzah’s Ethiopia Partner and on this special day, we want to share it with you.
The new women business owners from the past few classes of the Ethiopia Women’s Empowerment Program found that they needed a safe place to put their savings. This had never been a problem before, as the women didn’t have savings prior to joining the program. But with no bank in their community and Addis banks too far away and with prohibitive regulations, the women had a real challenge on their hands.
Making A New Way Forward
The women did what any freshly-mobilized women might do: they combined their new business skills with their new leadership skills, and, together with the support and counsel of our Ethiopian partners, created a formal Credit & Savings Association (CSA)! Here’s what’s unique about this CSA:
The leaders of the CSA are women who developed their leadership skills through the Women’s Empowerment Program. All of the leaders were elected by the women joining the CSA.
The women themselves helped to write the CSA by-laws, making them user-friendly from the start!
These leaders have gained formal recognition from the Ethiopian Government for their CSA.
The CSA is located in the women’s community – no travel costs involved!
The CSA has an impact beyond the financial one: CSA leaders serve as role models to other women in the community. The leaders help those who have been stigmatized due to their HIV status to find their voice and advocate for their rights from local service providers.
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the fact that God made women in His image – strong, capable, intelligent and with a heart to lift up others. Bravo to the leaders and members of the Ethiopia CSA! Women who are powerfully living into who God created them to be!