Our team recently traveled to Ethiopia and got to see the incredible work of our partners in Gunchire, Wolaita Sodo, and Debre Zeit. They got to meet families who have been through the Family Business Program and are years into self-sustainability, as well as families who are currently in the program and on their way to building a better life! Hear from some of the travelers below about their experiences:
Our Family Business Program is designed to address the underlying causes of poverty and vulnerability. Early intervention stabilizes vulnerable families and enables them to care for their children and send them to school. Its ripple effects go beyond the family and benefit the entire community. The empowered families are empowered holistically with the goal of enabling them not just to survive but also to thrive and transform their local communities. They are empowered with viable, durable, and profitable businesses that contribute to the local economy’s growth through income generation, job creation, and economic stability. We believe that small businesses are the backbone of the local economy. Strong families are the building blocks for strong communities, and strong communities are the foundation for strong nations.
Families that we met with were great examples of the success of the program. We visited with at least a dozen family groups with all types of small businesses. Each one demonstrated the security, purpose, and joy of having their own business, whether it was a hair salon, a coffee shop, a mini store. Families are kept together, children are receiving education, and the blessings of financial security are obvious in every family. The gratitude for the teaching, training and mentoring of the program was expressed over and over. The respect from the community for these families will lead others to a similar path. It is a fantastic program that changes lives!
Walking into the home or business of a Family Business Program beneficiary is stepping into a place of commitment, determination, passion, restoration, and hope. The joy and confidence I witnessed in each woman I’ve had the privilege of visiting is truly inspiring and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.