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Marsabit District, Kenya — The BOMA Project, a U.S. nonprofit and Kenyan NGO announced they completed the enrollment of 1,050 women in their award-winning poverty reduction program, the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP), in the first quarter of 2015.
REAP is an innovative poverty-graduation program that offers business-skills training, a start-up grant and savings skills tor ultra-poor women in Northern Kenya. These skills are nothing short of life-saving as they give women and their families the ability to survive the deadly droughts of the drylands. On average, each woman enrolled in the program supports five children.
The 1,050 mothers in this year’s enrollment will not only have the ability to support themselves, but also have the financial resources needed to support over 5,000 children and pay for their food, clothing, school fees and healthcare.
Women and children are particularly vulnerable to the cycle of drought and famine, as they are left in the villages—without food or income, often for as long as six months—while the men travel with the herds in search of increasingly scarce water and grazing terrain. The women survive by subsisting on food aid, begging for credit from shopkeepers, and scraping together a small income from menial labor, such as collecting firewood or hauling water. With training from BOMA in running micro-business and implementing savings programs, this spiral of poverty can be broken.
“Our goal is to reach 100,000 women and children by 2018,” said Kathleen Colson, founder of The BOMA Project. “To announce this most recent group of women entering the program on a week where we celebrate mothers in the United States is thrilling as much as it is a testament to the power and the effectiveness of our program.”
About The BOMA Project
Since January 2009, BOMA has established 2,651 small businesses across Northern Kenya, changing the lives of nearly 8,500 women, who use the income to pay for food, school fees and medical care for more than 42,000 children.