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Micro-Finance Project

The reason we were connected with Seeds of Africa is the same reason why this organization has this wonderful Micro-Finance Project for the mothers- and this reason is the lovely Maggie Sands. I met Maggie a little over a  year ago on a shoot and while working together here and there I was able to learn more about Seeds and what they do not only for the children but also for the parents.  To start they offer an adult literacy program that offers the parents the opportunity to upgrade their level in reading, writing and financial literacy, acting as a tool for personal empowerment and a means to reach their full potential as parents, community members and employees. After that they offer a Three Day Entrepreneurship Seminar, and in November of 2012, twenty-three mothers participated. The seminar focuses on topics such as separating money between business and household, reinvesting profit, maintaining records, thinking proactively about new markets and a how-to in writing a business plan. If both programs are completed then the women are eligible for the Micro-Finance Project which allows the women to create a business through a Micro Credit of about 2,000 birr per person (2.000 birr is about 105USD). This opportunity allows mothers to work independently, train in a field to increase household income, and moving away from the traditional aid model, a shift takes place allowing mothers to support themselves and their families. So after Luke and I would teach during the week, on the weekends we would go out into the community to meet some of the business owners. On the first Saturday we went to visit Martha and Banchiayahu's mother who has a successful business selling injera, which is a traditional flatbread made out of teff flour and served with just about every meal in Ethiopia. While we were there we learned about her business and she talked to us about how big of an impact Seeds has been for her and her family. She told us that since she has opened her business she has made a wooden box and every day she puts a percentage of her earnings in the box, she plans to open after she has paid off her loan to Seeds.