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Help women in Kenya to become financially independent

AIDS can’t be dealt with simply as a physical disease, in isolation from the social and cultural context. Mental and spiritual strength comes from family and community. Healing for women suffering from AIDS and empowering poor women, means enabling them to take charge of their lives. International Peace Initiatives (IPI) believes that empowering women to care for themselves and their families within a community of support is an essential component of their healing.

IPI’s Community Support Initiaives (CSI) program uses the participatory and community-based development model to enable women to become financially independent. The grassroots women’s groups pool their savings from firewood collection or other local resources and give the money to a different group member each month. Since the first Firewood group was formed, the women approached IPI to form other groups working with crafts, jewelry, and artifact made from a variety of local resources.

Supporting such initiatives proposed by the women themselves (who know what they need for their own future growth), IPI provides the initial seed money, perhaps $50, in the form of a mini-grant, to infuse capital into their project ideas. We help market the women's products which in turn earns them an income which then empowers them to greatly improve their lives and break the cycle of poverty.

These successes, though seemingly small, become the basis for applying for larger grants and micro-lending opportunities from foundations and other sources of funding.

To help support these grassroots initiatives that uplift the spirit and living standards of the people in their communities, click here.

© Photos by Emily Morris

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