Women’s Economic Development
Since 2003, WGC has partnered with Bukoba Women’s Empowerment Association and Masupa Nzila Empowerment Association of Mongu, Zambia, Mother and Infant Care Program (MIC) and most recently with St. Francis Parish women of Mongu, Zambia, and Pushaq Warmi of Chimbote, Peru. The purpose of the partnerships is to strengthen the women’s capacity to develop income generating activities by providing on-site workshops and online mentoring. Our collaboration focuses on providing training and materials that are relevant and culturally sensitive in small-business start-ups, management, nutrition, and computer literacy.
As a result of their participation, over 500 grassroots women have access to seed capital for the first time and are able to initiate commercial activities; an increased number of local children are attending school; and there is evidence of community development.
The economic impact of AIDS in Africa can be assessed in terms of the great loss of labor supply. For example, in Tanzania, women occupy between 60% and 80% of the labor required for farming activities in a country where 80% of the population is engaged in agriculture – corresponding to 52% of the GDP; any losses in labor supply due to AIDS become a food security problem. The successful water project, soy cultivation and nutritional education projects developed in Bukoba, Tanzania, demonstrate the feasibility of improving the economic status and quality of life of impoverished communities at a minimal cost when the right resources are allocated and local participation is encouraged.
Interactive Communications Technology Project kicks off in Tanzania, Africa
by Gerald Sseruwagi, Ph.D. student
Access to computers and internet connections in the developed world is no longer a problem. However, for large portions of Africa, this remains a dream in the future.
Now, lives will change forever for a group of rural women in Bukoba, Tanzania where WGC has been serving for the last eight years. The dream of providing computers and internet connection in order to build capacity that will allow them to make positive changes in their lives and lives of their community may be realized in just a few days.
Women receive Genesi computers in Bukoba, Tanzania
Women’s Global Connection in collaboration with the University of the Incarnate Word and a local computer company, Genesi USA, embarked on an ICT project that shipped over 15 laptop computers to Tanzania. The ICT project is intended to positively impact the lives of women in Bukoba, Tanzania. The Learning Centers will equip them to build capacity by gaining access to quick, current and important information via the web in English and the local language, Swahili.
This pilot project began in June in San Antonio at the ICC Genesi office on the UIW campus. There, computers and solar equipment were tested and training began to implement the project in Bukoba, Tanzania. Jim Simpson, a UIW doctoral student in the International Education and Entrepreneurship Concentration began his internship in this training then traveled to Tanzania in July.
The computers and equipment arrived and Jim is working alongside these rural women to make the ICT center a reality. It is hoped that in a few weeks the program will be up and running and this will be another collaborative effor
t between WGC and the Bukoba Women’s Empowerment Association with the help of UIW. Together, they are building bridges of hope by providing tools that empower rural women to make changes in their lives and in their community.
Setting up the solar panels to power the computers
Jim Simpson and the women getting the first lesson in the new computers
Some renovations to construct a small ICT Center
SA Group Brings Internet To African Women
WGC is collaborating with Genesi USA and students from the University of the Incarnate Word on a project to take small innovative, light weight computers that use little energy and are solar powered to rural Tanzania. Watch the Video which aired on KSAT 12 on July 12, 2011