In response to the question, “What kind of help do you need?” women in the Burundi chapter of IWCA asked for goats. The U.S-based non-profit Burundi Friends International (BFI), founded in 2007 by Jeanine, owner of JNP Coffee, invested so that every chapter member, 110 women in 2013, could receive two goats, one male and one female.
Some goats produce milk, but more importantly, they produce more goats. Plus manure to fertilize farmland and boost crop production. The next generation of goats can go to another family. With less than a half year between generations, it’s a non-stop gift for a community.
Hundreds more IWCA women now own their own goats.
Education is empowerment. Financial literacy training brings knowledge directly to women coffee farmers. In partnership with Project Concern International (PCI) and BFI, the Village Savings & Loan Association Program began to teach women to save money in groups and how
to make microloans to other women. Meeting weekly, women in these local training groups learn other aspects of managing money, and support one another through personal challenges in their home lives.
Most women do not have the time or money to travel to training sessions far from their villages, so the program trains coordinators, who train facilitators. They then travel to villages to train groups of ten to 20 women, provide support and supervision, and collect data to measure success and/or needed intervention. The first groups began their training in early 2017.