17 January 2018

Botswana: Initiative to Empower Women

Komana — Maun Administrative Authority senior community development officer Ms Kerileng Senwamadi has implored residents of Komana to learn to save the little that they have for the future and to improve their lives.

Ms Senwamadi said this at the introduction and launch of the Women Empowered programme by Project Concern International (PCI) in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development at Komana extension area on Monday.

This is a global initiative and a platform to discuss social issues with an objective of sustainably changing the economic status of women through self led savings groups, she said.

Ms Senwamadi noted that the self led savings programme which will be piloted in both Nxaraga and Komana was a way to kickstart the New Year since it would help members from over spending and unnecessary debts.

The programme, she said was meant to empower women of similar status earn their dignity and respect in the community therefore she encouraged residents to receive the programme with seriousness.

She also said that the groups will not be funded by any financial institution saying the group members were responsible to come up with ways of generating funds by digging into their own pockets.

Furthermore, she pleaded with residents to work together for the programme to yield better results that will benefit them as members in the group.

For his part, Komana/Nxaraga ccommunity development officer Mr Obakeng Kheru said that women were the most affected by poverty in the country therefore the programme was the right initiative for the improvement of women.

Mr Kheru said that the groups will assist members in situations that need funds such as weddings, funerals, illnesses as well as benefit the community through empowering of women economically.

The safe led savings group he said, will consist of 18 to 25 members mainly women who will have to agree on how to generate more funds in the group, how much to contribute monthly and when to divide their savings amongst themselves.

Kheru encouraged residents to be patient with the programme and ensured them of their support for the growth of the group.

Project Concern International programme coordinator Ms Thembeni Lemson informed Komana residents that the PCI's Women Empowered programme will yield good results only when residents were determined to progress and have the urge to improve their lives.

Ms Lemson confirmed that since the introduction of Women Empowered Programme in 2012 at Lerala, Kweneng and Kgatleng areas it has so far changed and improved lives since members have managed to build themselves houses and started their own businesses.

She added that the programme was geared towards building the capacity of communities to respond to challenges at community level mainly economic strengthening of households.

Principal community developmen officer II Mr Moshe Noga said that the introduction of the programme was an eye-opener for the residents to know the significance of self-reliance.

Mr Noga implored residents to refrain from the dependency syndrome adding that the government cannot assist every individual unless they start helping themselves with the little that they have.

"One day you will look back and smile at the rewards of the programme if you take it seriously now. Our offices will ensure that we monitor the project monthly to check if it is on the right track or not," he said.

Source : BOPA

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