Project Location: Sucre, Bolivia
Project Type: Livelihood
Project Code: BLS1220
Background: Since 2012, Chalice has been partnering with the Good Shepherd Sisters of Bolivia to carry out the sponsorship program in two of the capital city's most impoverished and at-risk districts.
Known simply as District Two and District Five, the families who live in these areas are highly vulnerable to poverty, gender violence, and human trafficking - especially women and teens. Through the Levántate Mujer sponsor site, the Sisters have been creating profound change, focusing on keeping students in school, increased access to nutrition, and empowering parents with financial literacy and livelihood skills.
Women have struggled to break into the workforce across Bolivia. The Sisters have reported that while women are the heads of one-third of all Bolivian households, 40% live in poverty. Of those who are employed, 60% earn less than half of the national wage. The women face many barriers to employment, including lack of access to higher education or training, migration, domestic abuse, and trafficking.
The Good Shepherd Sisters and the Levántate Mujer staff want to change that story for 90 women in their two districts. They have designed a year-long entrepreneurship program for women who have little or no training, equipping them with the skills they need to start their own small income-generating ventures. The women will get to attend hands-on training in pastry-making and learning to sew skirts and sports apparel. To support these practical skills, the site will also deliver workshops and programs to nurture their inner businessperson. They will train them in entrepreneurship essentials, leadership, and effective communication. They will also support the women through their personal development, focusing on important topics such as self-esteem and women's rights.
The staff's goal is that each woman is ready to begin her own business when she graduates in April 2022. But for 20 women, the journey will not end. The site will create a small seed fund of approximately $2800 CAD that each of the 20 will have a chance to borrow as they grow their fledgling businesses. Once they can repay the loan, the amount will go on to the next new entrepreneur. The Sisters have used this method in other communities with remarkable success. The staff will also keep accompanying each of the women, remaining a constant resource for advice and support.
To implement this program, the Levántate Mujer staff have requested $46,077.00 CAD. This will encompass the staff and trainers' time for the year-long program and the venues and raw materials for the training programs. With this initiative, 45 mothers of sponsored children and 45 women frm their community will be able to bravely step in to the world of self-employment, become more confident decision-makers, and provide for their families. It will also result in at least 20 new woman-led small businesses in communities in need of trailblazers.
Budget in Canadian Funds: $46,077.00 CAD
Please note that any donations that exceed the request will be used to fund other community projects/programs that may arise.